In their new afterword to the paperback edition of Mad as Hell now on sale, Scott Rasmussen and Doug Schoen discuss how the growing influence of the Tea Party Movement fulfilled Mad as Hell’s original predictions and predict the movement’s effect on the 2012 elections. Read on for an excerpt:
“During the midterms, the Tea Party movement tapped into a well of anger, frustration, and anti-incumbent sentiment in the electorate while promoting an agenda that speaks to the broad concerns of the American electorate, thus emerging as an unprecedented, powerful, and vastly underrated electoral force.
The Tea Party endorsement, particularly in the Republican primaries, became the most coveted support a candidate could achieve, even more so than mainstream party endorsements. Looking to 2012, it is virtually impossible to imagine someone opposed by the Tea Party winning the Republican presidential nomination.
It is impossible to know where the Tea Party’s influence will lead the nominating process, but it will present problems for many candidates perceived as front-runners by Beltway Republicans. There is certainly a better than even chance that the eventual nominee will not be one of the perceived front runners such as Mitt Romney….but with twenty-three Senate Democrats up for reelection, including in Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, and Virginia, there is a very good chance the Republican party will gain control of the Senate, regardless of what happens in the presidential race.
In the House, the Republican sweep at the state legislature level in 2010 will give them a leg up in the redistricting process. This will enable them to protect their House majority and produce more Republican seats, meaning more Tea Party influence in the House.
Above all, what the Tea Party movement does suggest, and suggest compellingly, is the possibility for anti-systemic third parties to emerge. That could happen in 2012.”