It would be a mistake to dismiss the Tea Party leading up to the 2014 midterm elections as the movement is likely to have a sizable impact, progressive political strategist Tara Dowdell said on MSNBC Thursday.
Demonstrators with the Tea Party protest the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) targeting of the Tea Party and similar groups during a rally called "Audit the IRS" outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, June 19, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB
After rattling off a brief history of the 5-year-old Tea Party movement, host Ronan Farrow asked his guests to discuss the role it still plays in American politics. University of Lehigh professor James Peterson downplayed the movement, saying the Tea Party’s “legislative impact may be waning or may have peaked.”
However, Dowdell warned the left not to make the same mistake twice with the Tea Party.
“I think that the tea party should not be underestimated,” she said. “I think that progressives, like myself, have made the mistake of laughing at them and being very dismissive of them. That’s very dangerous.”
Like in 2010, Dowdell said she expects Tea Party support to drive up voter turnout and have a visible impact on the 2014 midterm elections.
Her reaction is surprising as most on the left tend to promote the idea that the Tea Party is irrelevant, just as Peterson was quick to do in the segment.
Watch the segment: