HARVARD STUDIES THE 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 policymaking, 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 policymaking 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.

The release of this study comes at around the same time as the release of a poll recently conducted by NSON that found that out of 500 American respondents, 47.8% identified with Tea Party principles while only 20.6% identified with progressive principles and 22.8% identified “neither.” “