Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tea Party movement could hold 2010 key

Is the Tea Party movement with the Republicans or against them? That could be the most important question of the 2010 House, Senate and gubernatorial elections. The anti-tax, smaller-government movement, which built momentum in town-hall meetings all across the country in 2009, is already backing candidates in top-shelf Senate races from Florida to Nevada, and is actively seeking others. “You will see it all across the country,” predicted Joe Wierzbicki, a spokesman for the Tea Party movement. “It won’t be in every race. But there is a lot of difference between the Republican Party and the Tea Party.” But if their candidates do not win Republican primaries, will Tea Party activists support their own third-party candidates in the fall elections, prompting what Republican strategist Bill McInturff conceded would be a “disaster” for the GOP? Will their supporters simply not vote? Or could their movement, born of concern over government spending even when Republicans were in control, end up taking down incumbents of all political stripes? “Right now the Tea Party movement has higher favorables (in polls) than either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party,” said Democratic pollster Fred Yang. “Eleven months from now, the enemy could be all of us.” more

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