The emergence of Donald Trump seems, with the clarity of hindsight, to almost be predictable. Of course an outsider candidate would surge in the 2016 presidential campaign. The Republican Party has had an active rebellion brewing within its ranks since the Tea Party rose to prominence in 2010. Speaker of the House John Boehner has been forced to repeatedly repel raids from a small, determined conservative bloc for years. It’s only natural that, as happened in 2012, the discontent segment of the party would seize on someone with zeal.
But, then, the core of the Tea Party doesn’t really seem like it would latch onto Trump as its candidate. Trump’s base of support in the most recent Washington Post/ABC News poll was a bit smaller than the Tea Party at its peak — in October 2010 — but not much. Back then, 38 percent of Republicans and leaning independents supported the Tea Party; 31 percent of Republicans and leaning independents would definitely support Trump in a general election bid.
So to what extent does the Tea Party overlap with the T (as in Trump) Party?