Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Beyond Blighty: Is a strong Tea party good for the Democrats?

The Democrats in the United States unveiled their new logo today, perhaps in a hope to reenergise the brand after being damaged from two years in power. It had looked like the midterms in November, which elect all of the House of Representatives and a third of the Senate, would be an unhappy time for the Democratic party, but recent primary results have given some hope to the party of President Obama.

Tea Party candidates have won the Republican nominations in several Senate and Congressional seats currently held by the Democrats which the Republicans had hoped to win this November. However, the Tea Party candidates, although able to galvanise the far-right, look unelectable when put before the general public (according to the polls).

In order to regain power, a party must move to the centre. This is true of parties, both left and right, in all countries of the world. However, the Republican voters (if not the Republican leadership) are moving to the right.

This trend can best be seen in the fortunes of Sarah Palin, the former Governor of Alaska and John McCain's 2008 running mate, who has come to personify the Tea Party movement. It's almost certain that she will announce her candidacy for President early next year and, if the strength of the Tea Party continues, she has a very good chance of getting the Republican nomination for the 2012 Presidential election. Governor Palin is extraordinarily popular with the right wing of American politics, but she is truly terrifying to Democrats, independents and even moderate Republicans.

The Tea Party came into being as the American right's response to President Obama's left wing policies. It would be ironic if the strength of the Tea Party led to President Obama securing a second term in the White House.

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