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The teabaggers are an angry minority in this country.  As is often cited on this site, just 18% of Americans are tea party supporters.

An angry minority of people who have always been there fighting against civil rights, against equal rights, against immigration, against quality education, against responsible foreign policy, and on and on and on.  

The temptation is to dismiss them.  Certainly they aren't as big a deal as the MSM is making them out to be.

But here's the reality: the Teabaggers have more than enough numbers to win in November.

After the fold:
-MATH! (yay)
-What does this mean?
-What do we do?

Line up ten random adults from a Congressional District.  If two out of those ten people vote for candidate A in 2010, candidate A wins.

We all know that voter turnout is important.  But, take a moment and think about that statement.  Two people out of ten.  That's what you need.

When you're walking down the street, or strolling through a store.  Look around you.  Count out ten people.  If just two of those people vote for some crazy Malkin wanna be in November, that crazy candidate wins.

MATH:

This is pretty quick and simple.

Voter turn-out is about 37% in midterm elections.

50% of 37 is 18.5.

That's pretty close to the 18% of the population who sympathizes with the tea party movement in this country.  

UPDATE: This math assumes a 100% voter turnout among teabaggers.  I do so for illustrative purposes.  Turnout is what matters, not how many people agree with you.  So much so that even 18% of the population can decide an election.  That's the simple point.   You only need 2 out of 10 to vote for you.  That's a mathematical reality.  

What does this mean?

It doesn't mean much.  I'm not freaking out, I'm not trolling, I'm not saying that the tea party is some unstoppable behemoth.  But we underestimate them at our own peril.  It's that simple.  It's important to continue to remind the media and the public that the tea party is just a  tiny minority of this country.  But, if we allow that fact to make us complacent, November will be very very unpleasant.

What do we do?

That's pretty obvious.  All of us here know how important it is to energize our own base.  I wrote a diary awhile back explaining why an awful Republican Party doesn't ensure increased participation in the Democratic Party.  

We need to remember that the Democratic Party stand on strong ideas and progress.  We need to keep our eye on the ball and espouse the virtues of what we're doing and trying to do for the future.  

GENERAL DISCLAIMER:  It is important to note the difference in turnout numbers when looking at 'voting age population' and 'registered voters.'  But my point is still the same.  To win in 2010 you need 2 out of every 10 people to vote for you.  That's a reality we all need to keep at the forefront of our strategy as we head into this election.

Originally posted to Snuffleupagus on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 08:08 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I think you forgot a cross-tab on that poll (6+ / 0-)

    One of them indicated that 90+% of the self-identified teabaggers had neither attended, nor contributed, to a rally or teabag candidate.

    It takes boots on the ground, as well as money, to win campaigns. So, I'll worry about the moderate wingnuts rather than the far right whackos.

    The only thing you get from sitting on the fence is splinters in your ass. My Granddaddy!

    by SallyCat on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 08:12:48 AM PDT

    •  But that's exactly why the whackos are the concer (0+ / 0-)

      'boots on the ground'

      Moderates don't give you that.  Whackos do.  

      Think you have all the answers? prove it

      by Snuffleupagus on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 08:35:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If 90% of tea partiers have not gone to a rally (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DocGonzo, millwood

        they damned well won't campaign and probably won't vote for one either. The rally people saw a chance at a free road trip with their cronies.

        Campaign for your candidates or concede the field. We are campaigning locally this year, more than ever. We don't have time to waste with blue dog dems or whacko conservatives.

        The only thing you get from sitting on the fence is splinters in your ass. My Granddaddy!

        by SallyCat on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 08:38:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't agree (0+ / 0-)

          I've never been to a Dem rally in my life, but I get out and vote at every election.  Not attending rallies does not indicate that someone will not vote.

          •  And you don't donate either? (0+ / 0-)

            You don't campaign or walk precincts or do GOTV calls?

            No wonder we have blue dogs / conserva-dems around this country.

            The only thing you get from sitting on the fence is splinters in your ass. My Granddaddy!

            by SallyCat on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 09:18:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Strawman (0+ / 0-)

              I never said I didn't campaign, and GOTV.  Now you're just making things up.

              I said I don't attend rallies, which you incorrectly equated to voting.

              •  There was a question mark: ???? (0+ / 0-)

                Guess you don't read those...

                You presumed the unmotivated Democratic base won't vote. We are the progressives and we vote in every election. We generally vote for the progressives in the primaries. In primaries I will vote for an independent before I vote for a blue dog.

                The only thing you get from sitting on the fence is splinters in your ass. My Granddaddy!

                by SallyCat on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 09:51:55 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (9+ / 0-)

    This is pretty quick and simple.

    Voter turn-out is about 37% in midterm elections.

    50% of 37 is 18.5.

    That's pretty close to the 18% of the population who sympathizes with the tea party movement in this country.  

    Not quite that simple.

    The 37% also applies to the Teabaggers themselves - so their expected turnout is just over 6% of total voters.

    And since there is little or no discernible difference between Teabaggers and Republicans in general (aside from levels of incompetence)......

    Your math, sadly, is shaky. :D :D

    I am now officially BOYCOTTING all CLEAN ENERGY SPONSORS - until I am no longer forced to watch their commercials on DailyKOS!!

    by GayIthacan on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 08:19:00 AM PDT

    •  Not really (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      waytac

      you're assuming that the teabaggers will have the same voting turnout as the general population.

      That's just not accurate.  Will they have 100%? Certainly not.  But it's more than fair to assume that if the election were held in a week they would have very very high turnout.  

      Think you have all the answers? prove it

      by Snuffleupagus on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 08:27:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So? They had the same turnout in previous (0+ / 0-)

        elections voting for Republicans then as well. Nothing is different from 2008.

        •  Everything is different than 2008 (0+ / 0-)

          In 2008, people were voting against Bush and the Republican party.  Obama was able to run on our hope to change.  Now, we see his record (which I think is very good), but people are still out of work, and that's going to impact the voters.  Some Dems are frustrated at the slow progress on legislation for the progressive agenda, and don't feel Obama has given them what they hoped, these people are not inspired to vote like they were before.  There are other differences, but that's enough.

          It's a different ball game now.

      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

        But so what - they being merely republicans with a new name?

        In fact, if the outcome in NY-23 taught us ANYTHING - it is that the more Teabaggers who run against Republicans, the BETTER it is for Democrats - the Democratic Party not splitting its votes between moderates and radicals.....

        I say let us PRAY that the Teabaggers run a LOT of 3rd Party candidates.......what better way to dilute already weak Republican voting blocks and virtually guarantee Democratic victories?

        I am now officially BOYCOTTING all CLEAN ENERGY SPONSORS - until I am no longer forced to watch their commercials on DailyKOS!!

        by GayIthacan on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 09:06:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  sorry but this is a math fail (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SallyCat, fedorko

    the 37% is for all voters putting the Tea Baggers in the 6.66% range...wait a min 666?

    If your comment is mean, I might have Sarah Palin sue you.

    by in2mixin on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 08:25:33 AM PDT

  •  apples and oranges Snuffy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tobendaro

    apples - half of the voter turn-out in midterm elections

    oranges - percent of population which sympathizes with tea party

    unequivocal unless all those sympathetic to the tea party turn-out in midterms.

    i think

    Free University and Health Care for all, now. -8.88, -7.13

    by SoCalHobbit on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 08:27:28 AM PDT

  •  I do not think that teabaggers are evenly (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SallyCat, in2mixin

    distributed throughout the country. I haven't seen a geographic analysis but I would wager that they are concentrated in areas that are already solidly red and represent a small % of the population in blue and purple areas. It may be true that there is a higher percentage of teabaggers in red to blue purple areas because they are feeling especially threatened, but that remains to be seen.

    You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia".

    by yellowdog on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 08:28:21 AM PDT

    •  That's the one question (0+ / 0-)

      I'd worry about  the purple areas.  Where they could plausibly have higher concentrations.

      Think you have all the answers? prove it

      by Snuffleupagus on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 08:30:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  THIS IS NOT TRUE (0+ / 0-)

      though small in overall numbers, the teabagging gang is nationwide(obviously they would have variable numbers in certain demographic districts;i.e. large black or hispanic districts would have lower teabagging gangs than solid white districts)

      i don't mind if arlen remains the senior senator from pennsylvania IF the voters in the DEMOCRATIC primary choose him BUT until then...........

      by primaryarlen on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 09:14:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No they can't. (0+ / 0-)

    thats the reality check.

    Love is the force for saving all animal life- humans included.

    by GlowNZ on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 08:31:08 AM PDT

  •  Crazy people win elections all the time (0+ / 0-)

    They do it through turn-out.  It happens locally quite frequently (at school board level).  If we insist it can't happen on a larger scale, we're being harmfully stubborn.  

    Think you have all the answers? prove it

    by Snuffleupagus on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 08:33:24 AM PDT

  •  The tea baggers are just an extension (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, Danali

    of the Republican party. Instead of a Republican winning, a tea bagger will win. So what?

    And instead of a Republican beating a Democrat, a tea bagger would beat the Democrat. So what?

    These people are Republicans. They voted Republican in 2008 and will vote Republican in 2010. It really is a non-issue.

    •  BUT THEY CAN WIN (0+ / 0-)

      with the intensity they currently have; which is the point of this important diary; WE CAN LOSE if we take the teabagging gang for granted

      i don't mind if arlen remains the senior senator from pennsylvania IF the voters in the DEMOCRATIC primary choose him BUT until then...........

      by primaryarlen on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 09:16:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  just a wild ass guess (0+ / 0-)

    But judging by the level of astuteness they display about government, I would guess a lower percentage of them are registered to vote than the general population.

    •  NO TRUE (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ManhattanMan

      they are more likely to be registered; the demo they come from being white,rich, and old is the highest registered block

      i don't mind if arlen remains the senior senator from pennsylvania IF the voters in the DEMOCRATIC primary choose him BUT until then...........

      by primaryarlen on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 09:17:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  On the other hand (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SallyCat, DocGonzo

    teabaggers running for election here in Texas crapped out, across the board, in Republican primaries. So maybe the end isn't quite as near as you think.

    •  those wre primary elections (0+ / 0-)

      not general elections

      i don't mind if arlen remains the senior senator from pennsylvania IF the voters in the DEMOCRATIC primary choose him BUT until then...........

      by primaryarlen on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 09:18:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Um (0+ / 0-)

        you don't get to run in the general election if you lose in the primary...unless you want to go independent. Good luck with that. My point being: if you can't win in the concentrated, fetid waters that are the Republican primaries in Texas, you're not likely to do so well in a general election just about anywhere.

        •  I KNOW THAT (0+ / 0-)

          and i got your point BUT it is baseless; you were talking PRIMARY elections; if you don't think that republicans will vote staright ticket this year, then you know nothing about off-year elections(which are ALL party driven)

          i don't mind if arlen remains the senior senator from pennsylvania IF the voters in the DEMOCRATIC primary choose him BUT until then...........

          by primaryarlen on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 04:16:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Energizing Dem base is a good idea regardless (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Danali, that other guy

    of whether tea party is going to have a major impact.

  •  Recc'd and tipped (0+ / 0-)

    For pointing out the reality of only 18% of the people deciding the election.

    I agree, it really is about who get's out to vote.  And, if Dems aren't feeling inspired, it's easy to see that Republicans could win.

    Snufffy, one thing you can do to help is to start focusing on the good things that Obama has done.  I get that there are things we would like progress on, but if we let that demoralize us, we will lose.  There are also really good things that Obama has done that we can use to inspire us to continue.  If we can't generate excitement here, where we have the best President representing us ever (no one else was able to pass HIR), then we can't convince other people to GOTV either.

    •  Like escalating the war in Afghanistan? (0+ / 0-)

      Like not bringing troops home from Iraq?
      Like not standing strong on a public option?

      Obama is so great...yeah right...he's a corporate centrist. If you think he's doing fine then we may truly be screwed in November because those of us that the core Dems are not at all impressed.

      The only thing you get from sitting on the fence is splinters in your ass. My Granddaddy!

      by SallyCat on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 09:21:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good points, but pay attention to B.O.B. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Snuffleupagus, Catte Nappe, Kiku

    The first rule of strategy is to never underestimate your opponent. Do not just blow these people off.

    I don't think that we need to be overly afraid, I would say to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

    The Democratic base around here is not all that ginned up. The turnout could be low.

    I do think that the Repub's will win some seats in the midterms. I will guess 9-12 in the house and maybe 2-3 in the senate. Not enough to take control.

    Most of this will depend on where the economy and unemployment is at or preceived to be at at election time. Even if these numbers are bad, I don't think they will have enough to take overt control of either body.

    Where I do think that we need to be careful is with the local races, bottom of the ballot B.O.B., School board, city council, state legis, county commisioner etc. This could be the place that the teabaggers could win some seats and take over. These races need far fewer votes and do get the attention that the top of the ballot races do. These are also the level of government that effect you directly in your day to day life.

    I was in a twon where the christian coalition stealth candidates took enough seats to muck up the works. That school district went from in the top 5 in the nation to mediore real fast. Even 15 years later it has not recovered.

    I posted several dairies on this so I will not waste anymore space on it.

    •  To true (0+ / 0-)

      I'm in a state (not a town) where the Board of Ed has managed to muck up the works - nationally. Texas curriculum standards will influence textbooks nationally for the next ten years.

      Education is one place they have targeted for take-over everywhere, but even the other city, county and state slots are "resume" builders for future higher office.

      Legalism: strict conformity to the letter of the law rather than its spirit

      by Catte Nappe on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 09:40:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  not buying it (0+ / 0-)

    they didn't just show up out of thin air.  been here all along.

    if they are voting now, then most likely they voted in the last election and the one before that.

    nothing to see here.

  •  Math Says Teabaggers Will Lose (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SallyCat

    The math you use says that only if Teabaggers turn out 100% for the same candidates will Teabaggers win. But there's also plenty of math to show the obvious expectation that less than 100% of Teabaggers will turn out.

    Therefore, according to the kind of math you're using, Teabaggers will get less than 50% in the elections. Therefore Teabaggers will lose.

    This diary cherrypicks its math. It's nothing but an exercise in fear. People should turn out for elections, but we shouldn't be afraid of the TV tiger that is the tiny fraction of America's Most Extreme Republicans.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 09:41:25 AM PDT

  •  18% isn't a tiny fraction (0+ / 0-)

    That's half of the Democratic base.

    The point that Snuffy is making is that it doesn't take many motivated people to turn the election.  Given that Dem motivation is lower than Republican (and tea-baggers), we need to inspire our voters to GOTV, we can't take this for granted.

    I hoping that Obama and other Dems will continue their current push for meaningful legislation, letting Republicans side with bankers and such.  I'm also hoping that the economy will start to pick up so we have better numbers.

    Then, we need to do our job to GOTV.

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