“I had been predicting a tea party resurgence in 2016 because I thought the climate was right for it, but the only problem was that a guy named Donald Trump came along and basically co-opted the movement,” said Judson Phillips, head of Tea Party Nation.
Ken Crow, a tea party activist in Iowa, said the “tea party is in turmoil” over how to feel about Mr. Trump.
“The hard-core tea party wanted a strict constitutional guy like a Mike Lee or Ted Cruz — someone who prays, loves the Constitution, loves guns and waives the flag,” he said. “But the more pragmatic tea partyers realized that Ted Cruz could not win, so they jumped aboard the Trump train.
“They got their outsider, it just so happens that he is not a conventional outsider, and now they are starting to go ‘oops,’” Mr. Crow said.