Widget Image
Follow PPD Social Media
Follow Us:
People's Pundit Locals Community
Monday, August 15, 2022
HomePollsIt’s Official: IRS Targeting of Tea Party Groups Reelected Obama

It’s Official: IRS Targeting of Tea Party Groups Reelected Obama

From the onset of the revelations regarding the IRS targeting of Tea Party and other conservative groups, we have all had an “aha” moment. How did the biggest presidential failure in modern history secure reelection despite every political rule in the book? It’s official, and if you are too naive to know that the president pulled the levers of the federal government to undermine the will of We the People, then you might as well stop reading, because I have a bridge to sell you and you have some paperwork to sign.

In a new research paper, Stan Vueger of AEI, Andreas Madestam of Stockholm University, Daniel Shoag and David Yanagizawa-Drott (both from the Harvard Kennedy School), took a look at how much impact the Tea Party had on voter turnout in the 2010 election. Using data from the Census Bureau, the FEC, news reports, and a variety of other sources the team compared areas with high levels of Tea Party activity to otherwise similar areas with low levels of Tea Party activity.

The results are enough to incite some real political anger:

We found that the effect was huge: the movement brought the Republican Party some 3 million – 6 million additional votes in House races. That is an astonishing boost, given that all Republican House candidates combined received fewer than 45 million votes. It demonstrates conclusively how important the party’s newly energized base was to its landslide victory in those elections, and how worried Democratic strategists must have been about the conservative movement’s momentum.

The 3 – 6 million additional votes is an enormous amount of new voters for a midterm election, in which Republicans already tend to enjoy an advantage in turnout. But what impact would the Tea Party movement have had on Barack Obama’s almost exact 5 million vote margin of victory in the 2012 presidential election? The answer, again, is infuriating:

The bottom line is that the Tea Party movement, when properly activated, can generate a huge number of votes – more votes in 2010, in fact, than the vote advantage Obama held over Romney in 2012. The data show that had the Tea Party groups continued to grow at the pace seen in 2009 and 2010, and had their effect on the 2012 vote been similar to that seen in 2010, they would have brought the Republican Party as many as 5 – 8.5 million votes compared to Obama’s victory margin of 5 million.

Without getting into the weeds, which you can do in the documents below, there are two considerations that need to be underscored.

Firstly, and the team clearly points this out, is that the Tea Party movement was not an overnight success. Although popular references incorrectly associate the founding of the Tea Party movement with Obamacare, in reality, the movement began in 2009 in opposition to the bailouts. The movement included activists throughout the country who spent the prior year and a half leading up to the midterm elections volunteering, organizing, donating, and rallying. Of course, and consequentially, these types of grassroots activities are contingent upon 501(c)4 status, which according to their research was an important component of the Tea Party movement and its rise.

After the epic “shellacking” that the Tea Party dealt the president and the Democratic Party in 2010, these activities were shut down by the IRS targeting, or greatly hindered. The founders, members and donors, all found themselves knee-capped in their efforts to reproduce the same activity in the 2010 election, because they simply could not perform the same tasks.

A few examples cited as a consequence of the targeting included Toby Marie Walker, who runs the Waco Tea Party. The group filed for tax-exempt status in 2010 but didn’t receive approval until just two months ago. Toby said, “Our donors dried up. It was intimidating and time-consuming.” The Richmond Tea Party, who focused on outreach in black and Latino neighborhoods, contended with the same harassment and hinderance, and not surprisingly was only granted tax-exempt status in December, just after the election. It was a ridiculous three years after they filed their initial request. The group’s chairman explained that the targeting cost the Richmond Tea Party $17,000 in legal fees and completely consumed all of the time the all-volunteer network would have devoted to voter turnout.

The second consideration, is that these activists were prior conservatives fed-up with the establishment and defecting Democrats, but most importantly, they were also new voters who had never before participated in the electoral process. In my state – Florida – a tiny margin of 75,000 votes separated the two candidates. That is, of course, less than 25% of the group’s estimate of what the Tea Party’s impact in Florida was in 2010.

However, I cannot stress enough that there is a real danger for conservatives to ignore other very real electoral challenges. I would very much encourage you to read Sean Trende’s analysis in “The Case of the Missing White Voter,” which is on par with my analysis in “Attention Rand Paul Libertarians: Now is Our Chance to Eradicate the RINOs”. The approximate 6.5 million white voters who decided not to show up on election day will not be overtly receptive to the current GOP message until we purge the party of the hypocritical big government Republicans.

Still, I am correct in “Why Border Security is a Problem in the Immigration Reform Debate,” in which I demonstrate that the Hispanic vote will necessary follow their own pattern, as well as past Catholic voting blocs, and undergo a maturation in the second, third, and fourth generation voting behavior that inevitably will benefit the GOP.

Nevertheless, the president’s reelection was a result of a number of factors, but these numbers conclusively demonstrate that the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups was an imperative strategy implemented by the White House to ensure a historic reelection, in which a president for the first time in history was reelected with a drop in support and turnout.

Read More On The Research Study

Want to read more about why we need to abolish the IRS, repeal the Sixteenth Amendment, and return to a representative republic?

Richard D. Baris is the author of Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract

Written by
Data Journalism Editor

Rich, the People's Pundit, is the Data Journalism Editor at PPD and Director of the PPD Election Projection Model. He is also the Director of Big Data Poll, and author of "Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract."

Latest comments

  • It’s official – made up facts have been proven to combat global warming!

    • I am not sure if that was meant to belittle, or if you mean global warming is fake, but debate is debate.

leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

People's Pundit Daily
You have %%pigeonMeterAvailable%% free %%pigeonCopyPage%% remaining this month. Get unlimited access and support reader-funded, independent data journalism.

Start a 14-day free trial now. Pay later!

Start Trial