Big Business Tries to Unseat the Tea ...

Big Business Tries to Unseat the Tea Party (GOP Civil War)

Posted in the Minneapolis Forum

GOP Civil War

Seattle, WA

#1 Oct 25, 2013
Business groups are considering fielding their own candidates in the 2014 Republican primaries and redirecting their ample resources to deposing Tea Party stalwarts.“We are going to get engaged,” says Scott Reed, senior political strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which spent more than $35 million on elections in 2012, the vast majority of it on behalf of Republicans.“The need is now more than ever to elect people who understand the free market and not silliness.”

Other groups, including the National Federation of Independent Business, have also expressed unhappiness with Tea Party politicians. Dirk Van Dongen, president of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors has branded them “the Taliban minority.” Amash shrugs this off.“It’s mostly a Washington-lobbyist-driven effort that won’t have a lot of sway back home,” he says.

With the Tea Party’s approval ratings at 26 percent, business groups sense an opportunity to oust lawmakers who brought about the shutdown. But they’ll have a harder time doing that than most people realize. While the business community may recoil from Tea Party excesses, Republican voters generally do not. A July Pew Research Center survey of Republicans found that Tea Party supporters make up half of primary voters and significantly outnumber moderates. And while Republican voters disagree about which direction the party should take, more of them would like it to become more conservative (54 percent) than more moderate (40 percent). A subsequent poll showed the shutdown did not shake these voters’ resolve.

Then there’s the matter of just how compelling voters would find a candidate explicitly identified with national business groups. As a lavish source of political money, business leaders are always popular in Washington. But five years after the financial collapse, they remain toxic with most voters. Remarkably, while an April Allstate/National Journal poll found that only 17 percent of respondents thought Republican elected officials were “making things better for middle-class Americans,” CEOs of major corporations fared even worse (15 percent). President Obama did much better, at 36 percent


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