In toppling Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst for the state’s Republican nomination for U.S. Senate Tuesday, Mr. Cruz certainly had the full force of the Tea Party movement supporting him with cash, social media, and people power.
Dewhurst, owner of an energy company, dominated Cruz 3-1 in campaign donations, raising more than $33 million. But super PAC and other outside spending on "soft" media buys increases the total money spent by or for Dewhurst to $39.5 million. Cruz's campaign raised just $10.2 million with pro-Cruz groups adding an estimated $8 million more in soft spending.
Dewhurst had more than a 2-1 advantage in campaign spending, used largely for old media advertising buys. And still, Tea Party favorite and former Texas solicitor general Cruz shellacked Dewhurst 55 percent to 45 percent.
What happened to the old math of campaign spending in the 2012 Texas GOP primary? As they proved with big 2010 mid-term election Tea Party candidate wins, Tea Party groups have learned how to use the Internet's free communication channels to motivate voters and get out the vote.
The Tea Party may be an Astroturf movement funded by billionaire conservatives like Charles and David Koch, but it has proven very effective in using the Internet to motivate grassroots conservatives to get out and vote.
President Obama got elected in 2008, in part, by harnessing the Web and mobile phones, drawing in a new generation of young people. Now the Tea Party is using the Internet and mobile devices as effectively as the Obama campaign and much more effectively than Democrats in general, or even old guard conservatives like David Dewhurst, in drawing in both young and older voters.
Grassroots Democrats - wake up and learn how to effectively use the Internet to drive and support your "base building" community organizing and Get Out The Vote ground games!