Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Tea party celebrates five years, but will it live to 10?



< Previous Page


Even among the most active Republicans — those who run and serve as delegates at the state GOP Convention — support has dwindled. In 2010, 85 percent of delegates backed the tea party, compared to 57 percent in the 2012 convention, according to the BYU center’s polling.

David Kirkham, the owner of Kirkham Motorsports who organized the first Utah tea-party event in mid-March 2009, says the effort has shifted to some degree but still resonates with a large group of Americans. It’s not about flowing into the streets to be heard anymore. "We’re not in the streets ­— we’re in [policy makers’] offices," Kirkham says.

At a glance

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

If the tea party can distance itself from rants about social issues — specifically gay marriage — and keep the focus on paring back the government, Kirkham says, it will not only survive but thrive.

"We are going to be the party who includes people who just want to be fiscally responsible," he says. "What’s going to happen is that they’re going to be able to capture the center. Nobody likes the extremes; no one likes Nancy Pelosi or the right-wing extreme either."

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican who fancies himself an original tea partier, said the movement will be alive at least as long as Obama is in the White House. The next presidential election will determine if the effort gains new vigor.

"I don’t think the frustration has waned at all," says Chaffetz. "The movement is representative of a very conservative approach to smaller, less-intrusive government. I think that has grown and expanded and it certainly has not gone away."

Chaffetz chalks up the drooping polls to people not wanting to label themselves and says the news media isn’t focused on the effort as it once was. But he says people are still vocal and will continue to be.

"I certainly hear from them," says the congressman. "They have my number."

tburr@sltrib.com


story continues below
story continues below



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.