The Conversation: 'Did Donald Trump kill the Tea Party?'

June 17, 2016

What are this year's House and Senate primaries telling us about the health of our political system? Did Donald Trump kill the Tea Party? Those are two of the questions Robert Boatright, associate professor of political science, asks and answers in a contribution to The Conversation. The article also mentions his book "Getting Primaried: The Changing Politics of Congressional Primary Challenges" (University of Michigan Press, 2013).

Here, an excerpt:

"So far, 2016 has featured little national discussion of the Tea Party agenda that closed the federal government in 2013 and pushed House Majority Leader Eric Cantor from office the following year. There’s been little talk this election year of threatened Republican moderates, a conservative legislative agenda, or of the sorts of ideological battles that have raged over the past years among Republican members of Congress and their would-be colleagues.

"House and Senate candidates who object to 'business as usual' have struggled to raise money, get their message across and win votes.

"In my book 'Getting Primaried,' I argue that House and Senate primaries serve as an important indicator of the health of our political system. Political waves that will shape general election results can often be detected by looking at patterns of competition in primaries.

"So what are this year’s primaries telling us?

"Has presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump killed the Tea Party?"