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Can Tea Party Win in 2012? - Rand Paul’s Case Study


In order to gauge the organizational strength and prospects of the tea party movement for 2012 Senate races, one has to study the evolution of 2010 senate races.

The senate races have far greater significance compared to house or governorship races, since senate rules allow a single senator in principle to hold or filibuster a federal legislation or nomination and even force a vote on crucial issues such as waging wars and passing budgets.

For November 2, 2010 elections, out of 11 tea party backed senate candidates, four competed in what Cook Partisan Voting Index considers as GOP States; Alaska, Utah, Kentucky and West Virginia, two competed in Democrat leaning states; Delaware and Washington, and five contests took place in swing states of Nevada, Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Among these races, the ones in conservative Kentucky, swinging Nevada and liberal Delaware were the most interesting and drove much of the media hysteria around the politically charged country. Why Kentucky, Nevada and Delaware? Several reasons.

The tea party candidate in Kentucky, Rand Paul, is the son of Congressman Ron Paul, one of the tea party founders whose followers launched the movement against high taxes, debt, nation building and real-estate turmoil on December 16, 2007, the 234th anniversary of the original Boston tea party. Kentucky was a must win state for the tea party if they wanted to sustain any credibility and momentum in future election cycles.


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