2014 Midterm Elections: An Inside Look at the State Where the Tea Party is Back

Don't count the Tea Party out just yet. At least, not if North Carolina has anything to say.

Looking back at Obama's presidents, we had not one but two massive grassroots protests across the country: the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. The difference between the two was that Occupy Wall Street wasn't shanghaied by the GOP.

But the last major news anyone had heard of the Tea Party went out with the failed presidential run of Michelle Bachman. Since then, the fringe political group has been considered old news since the 2012 election. Sure they made some noise and rattled some cages, but after all that sound and fury, it looked like in the end they signified nothing as politics went back to "business as usual."

But that might start to change with North Carolina.

Recently, there have been a number of articles pertaining to the Koch Brothers and how they've turned the state into a new Tea Party headquarters—  a staging area for a new push back into mainstream politics by a newly refurbished, re-energized, and better funded political party.

Already this newly established Tea Party has made some legislative waves. Recently, the North Carolina government passed new measures that include a sweeping concealed carry measure, and a laughably unenforceable mandate of establishing a state religion (which was politically DOA).

But what does it all mean on the national stage? Outside of the borders of the state, not too much. However, we should remember that next year is another election season for the Senate.

Considering the current sense that the Obama administration is adrift and unfocused, there's a possibility that by 2014 we'll see a new slew of Tea Party candidates, with North Carolina serving as the movement's new beachhead.

There are a total of 35 states, North Carolina included, where Senate seats are up for election come next year. In the spirit of the Republican upset back in 2010, the GOP may once again try to appeal to the fringe groups though a newly refreshed Tea Party. If anything, this could be the beginning of a comeback towards more congressional control during the twilight years of the Obama administration.

With an election season about to overtake the country next year, with over half our states gearing up for fliers, phone calls and televised political ads, it presents a greater opportunity for the down-and-out Tea Party to make another major political play.

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David Lanzafame

A graduate of Columbia College with a master's in journalism, David has over several years experience as a freelance writer for numerous local publications in the Chicagland area.

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