Title page for ETD etd-08152012-075412


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Bailey, Kendall Lyons
Author's Email Address klbailey@vt.edu
URN etd-08152012-075412
Title The Future of the Tea Party: A Comparison of the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party and the Tea Party Movement
Degree Master of Arts
Department Political Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Brians, Craig Leonard Committee Chair
Hult, Karen M. Committee Member
Luke, Timothy W. Committee Member
Keywords
  • 2010 U.S. House Elections
  • Campaign Websites
  • Tea Party
  • Bull Moose Party
  • Campaign Rhetoric
Date of Defense 2012-08-02
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
The Tea Party Movement (TPM) has emerged as an important player in United States politics by promoting fiscal conservatism, limited government, free market economics, and Constitutionalism. Candidates championing these TPM values have had some successful campaigns, particularly in the 2010 congressional primary and general elections. In doing so, TPM candidates focused their attacks on President Obama and his supporters in Congress, drawing attention to the increase in government spending and the growing budget deficit. The niche focus of the TPM combined with the strength of the U.S. two-party system and voters‘ partisan loyalties may limit the long-term effectiveness of the group. An analysis of campaign rhetoric from a sample of successful TPM House candidates highlights similarities in language used by the sampled TPM candidates in conveying TPM values. The discussion of similar economic and political climates of the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party and the Tea Party Movement eras provides for a historical comparison from which to predict the future of the TPM. In sum, this thesis suggests that the Tea Party Movement will likely expire with an improved economy and the conclusion of Barack Obama‘s presidency.
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