Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tea party notches governor, 2 Senate wins

Voters embracing the tea party's conservative throw-the-bums-out anthem sent two of its leading conservative voices to Washington and another to the South Carolina governor's mansion. The victories for Rand Paul and Marco Rubio in the Senate and Nikki Haley as governor gave tea party activists three Cinderella stories for the 2010 campaign. All were long shots when they declared their candidacies but won over voters with their Washington-outsider, anti-tax campaigns. "There's a tea party tidal wave, and we're sending a message," said Paul, a first time candidate from Kentucky and son of libertarian hero and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Lake Jackson. "We've come to take our government back." But the tea party movement, without any official platform or national organization, drew a committed following. About four in 10 voters considered themselves tea party supporters, according to preliminary exit poll results. However, it was also a polarizing force – about a quarter of voters said they considered their vote a message of support for the tea party, and nearly as many said their vote was meant to signal opposition to the movement...more

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