Abdul: Coats to Victory? Tea Party May Play Pivotal Role


Abdul-Hakim Shabazz is host of the popular radio program "Abdul in the Morning" on 1430 AM WXNT. He is also an attorney and columnist, and author of the blog, Indiana Barrister.

As a political talking head, I’m frequently asked who is going to win or lose elections? I tend to have a pretty good track record, but when it comes to the race for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate my prediction is more speculative than anything. But with that said, I think there is good chance for Dan Coats to walk away with the nomination, and the Tea Party crowd will be responsible for his victory.

On a macro-level, Tea Party people by their very nature are not a top-down organization but more a grass roots collective of activists, in other words there are no leaders, more like coordinators. And because of that mindset, Tea Party groups are not likely to endorse any candidates, the best you can hope for is to win a straw poll.

Take that and add the fact they all have a disdain for anything with Washington attached to its name and Dan Coats, and to a lesser degree John Hostettler, are not necessarily fan favorites. So where does that leave the Tea Party voter — to split his or her vote amongst Richard Behney, Don Bates, Jr., and Marlin Stutzman? You get enough people splitting votes…you see where this is going. It also doesn’t hurt that Coats is all over the airwaves.

Now I am not saying that the race is Coats’ to lose. There is still an x-factor in this race that’s larger than almost any I’ve ever seen in 20 years of covering politics. So anything can happen and it usually does. The point I’m making here is that since the Tea Party movement hasn’t coalesced around one “non-Washington” candidate, under this scenario Coats is the likely victor. Talk about irony.

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