New study: IRS targeting of Tea Party conservatives had significant effect on 2012 election

From the American Enterprise Institute.


In a new research paper, Andreas Madestam (from Stockholm University), Daniel Shoag and David Yanagizawa-Drott (both from the Harvard Kennedy School), and I set out to find out how much impact the Tea Party had on voter turnout in the 2010 election. We compared areas with high levels of Tea Party activity to otherwise similar areas with low levels of Tea Party activity, using data from the Census Bureau, the FEC, news reports, and a variety of other sources. We found that the effect was huge: the movement brought the Republican Party some 3 million-6 million additional votes in House races. That is an astonishing boost, given that all Republican House candidates combined received fewer than 45 million votes. It demonstrates conclusively how important the party’s newly energized base was to its landslide victory in those elections, and how worried Democratic strategists must have been about the conservative movement’s momentum.

The Tea Party movement’s huge success was not the result of a few days of work by an elected official or two, but involved activists all over the country who spent the year and a half leading up to the midterm elections volunteering, organizing, donating, and rallying. Much of these grassroots activities were centered around 501(c)4s, which according to our research were an important component of the Tea Party movement and its rise.

The bottom line is that the Tea Party movement, when properly activated, can generate a huge number of votes-more votes in 2010, in fact, than the vote advantage Obama held over Romney in 2012. The data show that had the Tea Party groups continued to grow at the pace seen in 2009 and 2010, and had their effect on the 2012 vote been similar to that seen in 2010, they would have brought the Republican Party as many as 5 – 8.5 million votes compared to Obama’s victory margin of 5 million.

How far was Barack Obama willing to go to win the 2012 election?

5 thoughts on “New study: IRS targeting of Tea Party conservatives had significant effect on 2012 election”

  1. Now we know why the media and the democrat party was able to tell the American public in early 2011 the Tea Party would not be a significant factor in the 2012 Election because it had run its course and was a one time political abnormality. If patriotic conservatives do not do something to win the Senate in 2014 we will never be free again.


  2. So Democrats always accuse the Republicans of doing just what the Democrats are doing, stealing elections. We are 2/3 of the way to the socialist nirvana they dream of. Thanks to the IRS.


    1. I really am not sure if it makes much sense to try to have moral expectations on people who are on the secular left. If there is no objective design for humans, then moral categories don’t apply. And that’s how they act.


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