Advertisement
Politics

Tests for the Tea Party on Tuesday

Emboldened by its surprise win in Alaska, the Tea Party is looking east as it keeps fighting for control of the GOP.

A poll released last week suggested that support for the Tea Party movement had peaked, falling to just 12%, but its influence remains far greater in Republican primaries, where low turnout has so far given enthusiasts an outsized role. That was the case in Alaska, where Tea Party candidate Joe Miller upended incumbent GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski in a primary that drew fewer than 105,000 voters. It was also true in Kentucky and Nevada, where Tea Party candidates also prevailed over establishment candidates, and it was especially the case in Utah, where only a few thousand convention delegates decided the fate of soon-to-be-former Sen. Robert Bennett.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Next up is Delaware, where nine-term GOP Rep. Mike Castle, once considered a shoo-in for the nomination and the election, is in a battle for his political life. A weekend survey from Public Policy Polling showed Castle three percentage points behind Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell, who came out of nowhere with the help of endorsements from Sarah Palin and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and a big infusion of outside volunteers and cash. Delaware is a mostly Democratic and moderate state, and if O’Donnell is the nominee, the forecast for the Senate seat once held by Vice President Joe Biden will turn from likely Republican pickup to likely Democratic hold.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

A similar fight will be decided Tuesday in New Hampshire, where state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte is staring down the surging candidacy of Ovide Lamontagne, who also has the backing of DeMint and the Tea Party Express. A recent poll showed Ayotte with a seven-point lead, but facing a good-sized chunk of undecided voters and clear signs that Lamontagne is gaining. A Tea Party victory would significantly improve Democrats’ chances of taking over the seat, now held by retiring GOP Sen. Judd Gregg.

Advertisement - Article continues below

In New York, the Tea Party test is for governor. The favorite in the GOP primary has long been former U.S. Rep. Rick Lazio, but challenger Carl Paladino, a businessman making his first foray into politics, has picked up momentum -- again thanks to Tea Party support. And with as few as 10% of registered Republicans likely to vote, Paladino could pull off an upset. While Democrat Andrew Cuomo is widely expected to win the Nov. 2 election no matter who the Republicans nominate, a primary win by Paladino could hurt other GOP candidates. It would likely give Democrats a reason to come out and vote in November, costing Republicans some House seats in moderate swing districts.

Even Maryland, which is as blue a state as New York, faces a minor Tea Party ruckus Tuesday. Former Gov. Bob Ehrlich still seems to have a lock on the Republican gubernatorial nomination, but businessman Brian Murphy garnered lots of attention and at least some support after Palin endorsed him unexpectedly last month.

Advertisement

Most Popular

2020 Stock Market Holidays and Bond Market Holidays
Markets

2020 Stock Market Holidays and Bond Market Holidays

Is the market open today? Take a look at which holidays the stock markets and bond markets take off in 2020.
July 1, 2020
What Are the Income Tax Brackets for 2020 vs. 2019?
tax brackets

What Are the Income Tax Brackets for 2020 vs. 2019?

The IRS unveiled the 2020 tax brackets, and it's never too early to start planning to minimize your future tax bill.
June 20, 2020
Searching for the Perfect Place to Retire
Empty Nesters

Searching for the Perfect Place to Retire

We home in on two places with less traffic and lower costs. 
July 2, 2020

Recommended

Travel Planning in the Time of Coronavirus
business

Travel Planning in the Time of Coronavirus

Insurance may not cover canceled vacations, but airlines and hotels may be flexible.
June 11, 2020
13 Things That May Soon Disappear Forever (The Pandemic Edition)
business

13 Things That May Soon Disappear Forever (The Pandemic Edition)

Emerging technologies (and now the COVID-19 pandemic) are putting an end to these familiar items and practices.
June 9, 2020
Don't Let the Drama Surrounding PPP Distract You from Running Your Business
business

Don't Let the Drama Surrounding PPP Distract You from Running Your Business

If you're so wrapped up in worry about your Paycheck Protection Program loan not being forgiven, think about the worst-case scenario. It might not be …
June 5, 2020
Another Epidemic to Worry About: Identity Theft
business

Another Epidemic to Worry About: Identity Theft

Fraud losses grew in 2019 and are likely to increase in 2020.
June 5, 2020