The last election cycle the Tea Party dominated media coverage and ballot results. This year, the movement appears a shell of itself; failing to bring a strongly Tea Party-backed presidential candidate far in the GOP primary, fractioning endorsements from Tea Party legislators to Tea Party candidates, and having little to show in terms of policy from the class of freshman Republicans in Congress that road the Tea Party to office in 2010. While Tea Party candidates may have "establishment" senators in tough primary battles in Utah with Sen. Orrin Hatch and Indiana with Sen. Dick Lugar, the incumbents have received support from GOP legislators who have previously been sympathetic to the Tea Party cause, like House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor announcing support for Lugar.
Brendan Steinhauser of FreedomWorks joined "Real News" Thursday to discuss the status of the Tea Party, and the movement's fight against the establishment in 2012.
"When you look at the national strategy there are some great opportunities to get Tea Party candidates, serious people like Ted Cruz here in Texas, like Richard Mourdock in Indiana, Dan Liljenquist in Utah," Steinhauser said. "We have a real opportunity there to trade up, and I think that folks are engaged in that."
When asked by S.E. Cupp why the Lugar/Mourdock race in Indiana has captured national attention, Steinhauser said because it is a chance to show the media that the Tea Party is not dead.
"It's alive and well, and it has the capability and the motivation to make a big impact on our politics still," said Steinhauser of the Tea Party.