“The Tea Party movement is dead. It’s gone,” says Chris Littleton, the cofounder of the Ohio Liberty Council, a statewide coalition of Tea Party groups in Ohio. “I think largely the Tea Party is irrelevant in the primaries. They aren’t passionate about any of the candidates, and if they are passionate, they’re for Ron Paul.”
Littleton is one of the many who have endorsed the Texas congressman; he blames the other GOP candidates for the lackluster energy they have generated in the grassroots that hosted a revolution two years ago.
“Not Romney” is the most popular candidate among his fellow activists, Littleton says, though no one can agree who “Not Romney” is. Without an agreement on that score, the real Romney has coasted to easy victories in New Hampshire, Florida, and Nevada, even winning a clean 50 percent of the Tea Party vote in Nevada on Saturday night while the other 50 percent split themselves among Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum.
Mark Meckler, founder of the Tea Party Patriots, the nation’s largest Tea Party coalition, also says the Tea Party isn’t playing a role in picking the nominee. But that is by choice, not by accident, he says.