How the shutdown could help Tea Party, hurt GOP moderates

There is a tendency to assume that any negative public backlash against the government shutdown, to the extent that it hurts Republicans politically, would serve as a comeuppance for the hard-line Tea Party wing that has driven the effort to repeal Obama’s health care legislation at any cost.

Yet Kyle Kondick at the University of Virginia explains how it could have the exact opposite effect: leading to a loss of more moderate Republicans from the House of Representatives and making the future Republican caucus even more ideologically homogeneous.

He argues that if Republicans are punished for the shutdown in the 2014 mid-term elections (a big if) then history suggests the members most likely to lose their seats are Republicans in districts that are not strongholds for the party. In other words, the very moderates who have been opposing the shutdown will have the hardest time holding their seats in the event of an anti-GOP backlash.

The ironic result could be that the tactics of the right-wing faction of the party could make it harder for moderate Republicans to hold on to the their seats — thereby enhancing the hard-line faction’s influence within the caucus.

 “…if Republicans do open the door to the Democrats in the House, it’s not going to be the “Ted Cruz Republicans” who will pay the price. Rather, it’s the House Republicans in marginal districts who could see their ranks decimated, just like the House Democratic moderates whose anti-Obamacare votes couldn’t save them in 2010.”

The full analysis is here: If Republicans get the blame, moderates will pay the price