Does anyone know if the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements willl play a role in the 2012 election?
I certainly think that both movements have played a role in the election and will continue to do so. The issue of economic status and the role of wealth in the economy, something that both movements stress, has been echoed by the candidates. Republican nominee Mitt Romney has accused the President of playing up "class warfare," while the President's campaign has successfully made Romney's time at Bain Capital and issue as well as stressed the idea of making America "work for all Americans." In this, the economic realities of both movements have already impacted the campaign.
Beyond this, in terms of how each movement's followers will react at the polls, is going to be difficult to assess. Certainly, the Republican base is seeking to get the Tea Party members out to vote in opposition for the President. The recent Supreme Court decision that upheld the President's health care bill is sure to be a rallying cry for the Tea Party to come out and vote. The Occupy Wall Street read is a bit more challenging. Many of the participants in the movement were individuals who came out to support the President in 2008. Disappointed with where the country was headed, the question is will this contingent continue to support the President, if nothing else for fear of Governor Romney and his brand of governing which is certainly anti- Occupy Wall Street, or will they simply turn apathetic and not vote, hoping that their silence sends a message. This is difficult to read and might not be fully evident until we approach November.