The Big Question: How will Tea Party-backed candidates fare today?

Rob Richie, executive director of FairVote, said:

The Tea Party will have many successes, as its candidates in general have blended well with Republicans’ overall message on deficits and healthcare. But three U.S. Senate toss-up races feature Tea Party candidates: Nevada, Colorado and Alaska. A Republican sweep in those states will make for a sweet Tea Party day, but a shutout will a far more sour one. Even a sweep will be tempered by the fact that Mike Castle’s primary loss to Christine O’Donnell in Delaware might well be the difference for which party controls the U. S. Senate next year.

Justin Raimondo, editorial director of, said:

That depends on how one defines the “Tea Party,” a designation that is vague and (among Republicans) popular. In any case, I think the “brand” will help those who embrace it, and those who are really from the grassroots movement will do even better.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said:

Nixon asserted that “we are all Keynesians now.” Obama spent two years proving Keynes was an idiot.

We have made some progress … almost all Republicans are Tea Partiers this year. Perhaps not Delaware’s Mike Castle, Gov. Crist of Florida nor Ms. Murkowski.

Otherwise, every Republican is running against big spending. This is a welcome new approach for the modern Republican Party. It took years for the GOP to become the party that will not raise your taxes. The success of the Tea Party was to demand that the GOP add to its “to do” list: Stop spending so much of other people’s money.

About time.

Michelle D. Bernard,
president and CEO of the Independent Women’s Forum, said:

No matter what happens tonight, the Tea Party and many of its candidates are already victorious regardless of the outcome of elections across the nation (though most polls suggest widespread success for the Tea Party candidates). They’ve proven themselves a force to be reckoned with by driving the conversation of this midterm season and energizing voters.

Marco Rubio will likely win big in his Senate contest in Florida, Mark Johnson will likely defeat Russ Feingold in Wisconsin’s Senate race and there’s a better than good chance that Sharron Angle, Rand Paul and Pat Toomey will emerge victorious.

Still, it won’t be a win across the board. Christine O’Donnell has not bewitched Delaware’s voters and, though we probably won’t know for days, Washington’s Dino Rossi and Alaska’s Joe Miller are anything but certain to win.

Bottom line, what’s most important to watch will be how the victorious Tea Partiers govern. 

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