Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine called the Tea Party "the Donner Party" on Sunday, saying that the movement was "knocking off Republicans" and giving his party hope that it could win seats in races previous considered especially tough.
On CNN's "State of the Union," Kaine compared the landscape to the group of pioneers stuck over the snowy Sierra Nevada in the 19th century that infamously resorted to cannibalization to survive.
The recent Tea Party wins were "giving us the opportunity to win some very tough seats," Kaine said, mostly recently with the nomination of Tea Party favorite Christine O'Donnell over polling favorite Rep. Mike Castle in Delaware.
Kaine also predicted that Democrats would lose seats in November midterm elections, but the carnage wouldn't be as bad as many have predicted.
"We're going to lose seats," he said. "We're not living in average times," he added, citing the economy that continues to struggle.
"I don't think you're going to see us lose either house," Kaine said. He said primaries had showed voters that "control of the Republican Party is in Tea Party candidates who do not speak for independents or moderates at all."
The DNC chairman said that the Tea Party was representing views "way to the right of the electorate."