The Tea Party both gave to and took from the GOP in the election. Republican party leaders saw opportunity in the Tea Party. The GOP latched on to the movement and rode its coattails . Some Tea Party candidates, however, became liabilities to the GOP for their utter lack of political skills.
Tea Party helps energize GOP
The Republican base got more excited for the elections in 2010 than it was in 2008 because of the Tea Party. There was a lot of anger associated with it. This made more people anti-Democrat. There wasn’t that much of a complete republican victory, though, considering many were more willing to vote in those with questionable character than those who were actually good candidates.
Tea Party, the good and bad
In total, 60 Republicans were able to win congressional seats because of the Tea Party. There hasn’t been that big of a change in parties since 1948 in the House. In the Senate, 47 seats were held by Republicans after the election. But if not for the Tea Party, the GOP could have had 50 seats.
Keeping Tea Party candidates from being elected
The Tea Party got the candidates it wanted in key Senate races. “Unelectable” was the word Republicans used to describe certain candidates, though, and that proved to be accurate. In Colorado, incumbent Democratic senator Michael Bennet defeated Tea Party candidate Ken Buck. Buck was in the news last year for his reason as to why people should vote for him. “Because I don’t wear high heels” is what he said. In Nevada, embattled Democrat Harry Reid easily defeated Tea Party candidate Sharon Angle. One thing Angle said was that God anointed her to be a Senator. This bothered a lot of people. Christine O’Donnell was in the Senate race in Delaware. Palin was involved in making her lose it to Chris Coons, though.
Washington Post: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/11/did_tea_party_cost_gop_50-50_s.html
New York Times: http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/03/the-tea-party-giveth/?partner=rss&emc=rss
Talking Points Memo: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/07/colorado-republican-ken-buck-caught-on-tape-again-calling-birthers-dumbasses.php
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