Since Nov. 6, there has been no shortage of opinions as to why challenger Mitt Romney and the Republican Party failed to ouster President Barack Obama. Pre-election divisions in the Republican Party between moderates and conservatives have only widened since Romney’s defeat and the party’s strategy for the future remains unclear, a source of contention and heated internal & external debate.
Specifically, many now wonder what the sobering 2012 election results means for the right-leaning Tea Party, the champions of personal freedom and smaller government who exploded on the political scene in the 2010 midterm elections. The re-election of a progressive like Barack Obama would seem to signal the end of the conservative Tea Party, but the movement’s conservative leaders insist that last month’s election results only vindicate the group’s message.
“The Tea Party is not a political party; it’s an informal community of Americans who support a set of fiscally conservative issues,” says FreedomWorks’ Matt Kibbe. “And when you take a look at the roster of new fiscal conservatives being sent to Congress next year, it’s clear our issues are winning.”
Indeed, although the Tea Party may be focusing the vast majority of its ongoing efforts on local issues, the conservative movement has left an undeniable mark on the national GOP establishment. The group’s mantra of uncompromising fiscal conservatism and limited government has remained a driving force in shaping Republican platform.