The conservative ennui over Mitt Romney’s campaign extends from the ivory towers in New York and Washington all the way down to the Republican grassroots.
In increasingly desperate emails to their supporters this week, tea party leaders are begging their coalition — responsible for much of the GOP’s momentum since 2009 — to hold it together despite the dark clouds swirling over Romney-Ryan campaign.
Political emails often cast election prospects in the darkest possible terms, hoping to wring the most dollars and time out of supporters. But the tone of the tea party dispatches this week goes deeper, responding to what the authors describe as a real sense of disillusionment.
“Several people mentioned to us that the media seems to be trying to make them believe we have no hope,” Kay and Ron Rivoli, performers on the Tea Party Express bus tour, wrote in an email sent to supporters Tuesday. “Folks, the liberal media is lying. They are trying to make you feel defeated so you won’t bother going to the polls to vote. But there is hope and that hope is in Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.”
The central message of the email: Don’t give up. The tea party is still on board with the GOP ticket, if only because it wants to stop a Democratic win.
“Crowds are energized and motivated to take back our White House and end the socialist agenda of Barack Obama,” the Rivoli email reads.
The Tea Party Express is the traditional politics wing of the movement, focused on using PAC dollars to support candidates. Over at the much more grassroots Tea Party Patriots, the sense of desperation extends not only to Romney but to the Republicans in Congress.
The Tea Party Patriots has often been critical of the 112th Congress it helped elect in 2010, and with November looming that disappointment has become full-fledged depression.
“Over the last several weeks, I have received emails from some of our supporters who say they think the system is so broken it cannot be fixed and our efforts are futile,” Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin wrote in an email sent to supporters Tuesday. “They are angry at the Republican nominee who does not fight hard enough for our core values. They are angry at the Republican ‘leadership’ in the House who are spineless and unable to make any real spending cuts.”
Martin urged her group to stay focused on the goal of defeating Obama, quoting the dictionary definition of “determination” and calling on her followers to look past Election Day while still trying to keep the faith through November.
“Like the coordinators who have grim determination and cannot rest without thinking about all they are capable of doing to preserve our freedom, we too must evaluate our actions through Election Day and immediately following so our country’s voters choose the future of freedom on November 6,” Martin wrote.
The importance of tea partiers to Romney’s eventual success cannot be overstated. With his campaign increasingly reliant on the Republican base to win, the ultra-motivated voters in the tea party movement will help him run up his totals in swing states. Romney never really had the tea party’s full-throated support, but the selection of Paul Ryan and sticking to a hardline on issues like immigration (which observers say has cost him with Hispanic voters) was supposed to keep the tea party in line.