Is the GOP presidential field a Tea Party failure?

To the dismay of many in the clamorous grassroots, the Republican nominee is all but certain to be an establishment insider 

Edward Morrissey

More than a year ago, the Tea Party capped an incredible 18-month run with a historic midterm election that took a whopping 68 House seats away from the Democrats, and handed the speaker's gavel to Republican John Boehner. No party had lost more seats in a midterm election in 72 years. While that outcome didn't surprise many activists in the Tea Party movement, it certainly appeared to catch many others off guard.

Now the shoe seems to be on the other foot. Fourteen months after that singular achievement, the Republican field for the presidential nomination seems to have no real Tea Party candidate representing the grassroots movement's iconoclastic, anti-establishment spirit. Instead, four of the leading candidates represent the Republican establishment, while the fifth has his own personal grassroots movement supporting his candidacy.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us
Edward Morrissey

Edward Morrissey has been writing about politics since 2003 in his blog, Captain's Quarters, and now writes for His columns have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Post, The New York Sun, the Washington Times, and other newspapers. Morrissey has a daily Internet talk show on politics and culture at Hot Air. Since 2004, Morrissey has had a weekend talk radio show in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and often fills in as a guest on Salem Radio Network's nationally-syndicated shows. He lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, and his two granddaughters. Morrissey's new book, GOING RED, will be published by Crown Forum on April 5, 2016.