Saturday, April 10, 2010

More on the Massive St. Louis Tea Party Failure

Jake Wagman at the Post-Dispatch had a Political Fix post yesterday titled, "Passage of Metro transit tax fuels second guessing in Tea Party." Though I'm glad the story was written, leave it to the St. Louis media, who I've already criticized extensively for their tea party leaning coverage of the Prop A debate, to write a post questioning tea party organizing ability that relies enitirely on the testimony of members of the tea party! Thus, even when failing about as badly as possible, the tea party is given an exclusive platform to offer their spin on what happened. And, even worse, Wagman apparently buys it, inexplicably suggesting that the reason they did so badly was the general problem of voter apathy on elections that don't feature statewide or national candidates. He also apparently eats up their story that the whole reason Prop A won is because proponents spent, "hundreds of thousands of dollars."

But a closer look at some actual metrics shows just how wrongheaded the Wagman/Tea Party analysis is. First of all, check out the following list of local people who Tweeted pro-Prop A messages using the hash tag #propA :
@michael_ohare @FeteSociety @AllisonEBruns @keegan_hamilton @cshevlin @katberger11 @hetoldmeanyway @TriceDIVA @sarahescully @BetsyReznicek @chandlerful @nicejenny83 @urbanreviewstl @chamberjule @JRTappenden @Andrea_TheNerd @ryanwitt @lisarokusek @pwhoward @smcnally @loganalexander @yatesamanda @BillikenARon @iwhisperer @ContraYogini @bchao524 @PatrickRShaw @Kismatt @Mika_Tey @Trap_Jesus @sbolen @chriskingstl @MARTIN_CASAS @HilaryPerkins @markjzinn @simonyost @lindseyberger @jlangum @stlshellebelle @noelweichbrodt @ahawkcollinger @inmywardrobe @coreysmale @readingmachine @JustinEllis @elsicomoro @astx813 @Ericstl6 @DustinBoppAIA @daveElf @rhapsodynbloom @stlcolleen @docstar42 RT @edreggi @AndreaRenee87 @wecanchangeit @triadchiro_drj @tammyvent @deandrean @AdamHouston @ganeshaxi @MisterTubbs @michaeltomko @jpjernigan @slackadjuster @JonSimons @brynarc @deaconseps @innov8ion @drphist @maryb2004 @ehoffp @b_wiley @GoldenSombrero @peggy_adams @ecoabsence @lolololori @Sutcliff @katzpotter @andrewjfaulkner @toby1319 @neutralized @allyrulzno1 @trianglman @gracewoodard @stlcolleen @bkauling @threefourteen @stldotage @jenniferwhatnot @YoungDemsSTL @jesh1223 @milphy @russwhite59 @CraigMayhem @Patricialicious @GatewayStreets @fischooler @ajgmets @CMT_STL @thebizkramer @markedwards @STLTransitPlan @sethteel @STLTransit @Patricialicious @urbanSTL @jenniferwhatnot @Stllegend @Rencelas @u2acro
Now check out the number of anti-Prop A tweets using the hash tag #stoptheprop :
@whennessy @24thstate @stlteaparty @stlurbanspice @StLouisRE @bellez8 @stix1972 @Jimi971 @morecord @BetterTransit
Notice any difference? Apparently some people didn't. But the clear reality is that there was an absolutely huge enthusiasm gap between supporters and opponents of Proposition A, with supporters vocally expressing their enthusiasm (Worth noting: Jo Mannies of the Beacon acknowledged the supportive Tweets in an election day article). This wasn't because Advance St. Louis was paying people $5 a tweet; it's because the people of St. Louis want a good public transportation system! Any analysis that ignores this enthusiasm gap is woefully deficient.

Second, the tea party has been continuously whining that they were outspent. But the reality is that they were incapable of raising money for their extreme position on this issue. They sent out a message to all of their supporters calling for a "money bomb" to raise $10,000. They had the support of Dana Loesch, who has 8,500 followers on Twtter and her own 2-4 PM radio show. Gateway Pundit, who gets nearly 1.5 million unique visitors a month, put out a direct appeal for John Burns money bomb. Yet despite the ability to reach a huge audience, at the end of the day, they were only able to raise $750 from 25 people:

This is a puny number for a county-wide election and does not show any ability to organize. In fact, I'm quite confident that I would be able to raise more money than this for a similar cause. Yet far be it from the creators of the media narrative to look for the demonstration of actual organizing ability, fundraising ability, or even arguments that aren't' completely dishonest when they decide how important the tea party is. They have their "Tea Party = Political Juggernaut" narrative, and they're sticking with it, no matter what voters or the facts say.

1 comment:

  1. Slightly off topic, but I'm excited about the widget that you showed off in this post. I just put together a blogsite for a charity and we really need to raise money to outfit the 1000 kids for Back to School. As soon as our Paypal account is activated, I'm adding a Chip In widget to the site!

    (Oh...and I think your post about gauging the difference in enthusiasm of supporters/opponents using twitter is really brilliant.