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
Advertisement

Most Popular

What Trump's Payroll Tax Cut Will Mean for You
Tax Breaks

What Trump's Payroll Tax Cut Will Mean for You

President Trump issued an executive order to suspend the collection of Social Security payroll taxes. How much will it save you?
August 10, 2020
What a Payroll Tax Cut Would Mean for You
Tax Breaks

What a Payroll Tax Cut Would Mean for You

If Congress can't pass another stimulus bill, President Trump says he will initiate a payroll tax cut by executive order. How much would that save you…
August 8, 2020
Drawing Down Retirement Savings in a Pandemic
Coronavirus and Your Money

Drawing Down Retirement Savings in a Pandemic

Tapping the right accounts at the right time matters. Knowing how much a retiree can spend each year without running out of savings in old age is even…
August 7, 2020

Recommended

Vote by Mail: A State-by-State Guide to Absentee Ballot Voting
Politics

Vote by Mail: A State-by-State Guide to Absentee Ballot Voting

With health authorities recommending people continue to social distance, the idea of voting by mail is becoming an increasingly hot topic.
August 4, 2020
Election 2020: Joe Biden's Tax Plans
taxes

Election 2020: Joe Biden's Tax Plans

With the economy in trouble, tax policy takes on added importance in the 2020 presidential election. So, let's take a look at what Joe Biden has said …
July 22, 2020
Answers to PPP Loan FAQs (Now That There's Fresh Funding for the Loans)
small business loans

Answers to PPP Loan FAQs (Now That There's Fresh Funding for the Loans)

Small business owners are getting another crack at Paycheck Protection Program loans. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the lo…
July 21, 2020
Travel Planning in the Time of Coronavirus
Travel

Travel Planning in the Time of Coronavirus

Insurance may not cover canceled vacations, but airlines and hotels may be flexible.
June 11, 2020