HARVARD STUDIES THE TEA PARTY

by Todd Cefaratti, The Blaze  |  published on March 18, 2013

tea party

A recent Harvard study entitled, “Do Protests Matter? Evidence from the Tea Party Movement,” examined the effect that protest has on political change. The study found that, “[P]rotests can build political movements that ultimately affect policy making, and that these effects arise from influencing political views rather than solely through the revelation of existing political preferences.” The study was conducted by a team of researchers from around the world.

For all the talk on the left about how the Tea Party has splintered conservatives and been a drag on the Republican brand, the Harvard researchers discovered the opposite.

Amongst the conclusions derived from the exhaustive study, the report found that the Tea Party protests in 2009, “[I]ncreased turnout in favor of the Republican Party in the subsequent congressional elections and increased the likelihood that incumbent Democratic representatives decided to retire prior to the elections.”

The study continued, “Incumbent policy making was also affected, as representatives responded to large protests in their district by voting more conservatively in Congress. In addition, we provide evidence that these effects were driven by a persistent increase in the movement’s strength.”

Most stunning, Harvard found that the Tea Party protests had a significant multiplier effects: for every protester, Republican votes increased by seven to fourteen votes.

It’s easy to get discouraged when you work in politics. Writers, politicians, organizers- ask them and if they’re being truthful they will tell you that while most of the time they get out of bed, encouraged by the prospects of a new day, sometimes it can be tough to see one piece of bad news after another scrawled out on the web or in the morning newspaper.

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