Tea party already shapes 2012 race

Vince Coglianese Contributor
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The tea-party phenomenon is forcing possible Republican presidential candidates in 2012 to make early and potentially high-risk strategic gambles over how to harness the movement.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is traveling the country to build alliances with local tea-party activists in key presidential primary and caucus states.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is solidifying ties with traditional party leaders and organizations by helping them with fund raising and candidate endorsements.

The two potential rivals are acting on opposing assumptions about the newly energized but volatile tea party-infused Republican base. The results of their decisions will show the impact that tea-party supporters will have on the 2012 presidential race, and on the new political scene to emerge after the Nov. 2 midterm elections.

Full Story: Tea Party Already Shapes 2012 Race – WSJ.com