Tea Party: Now What?

This is just the beginning, activists say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2010 5:04 AM CDT
Updated Nov 3, 2010 7:51 AM CDT
Tea Party: Now What?
Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin pauses while organizing the start of an election day demonstration on the lawn of the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

The Tea Party proved itself to be a major force in yesterday's elections, but a force for what has yet to be determined. "No one in this movement is stopping today. This is not an endgame. This is just a beginning," a leader of the Tea Party patriots told the Wall Street Journal as candidates backed by the movement swept to victory in Florida and Kentucky. In Delaware and Nevada, however, the fears of the GOP establishment were realized as Tea Party-backed candidates were defeated in races the Republicans had expected to win easily.

Exit polls found that 40% of voters supported the movement, though there was little agreement on which specifics of the Tea Party agenda they backed. Many who considered themselves Tea Party supporters backed compromising with the Democrats to some degree, though activists say they have no intention of compromising even with the GOP establishment. “If Republican leaders think for a minute that they’re going to suck us in and continue business as usual, they’re wrong," a Tea Party activist who ran Rand Paul's primary campaign in Kentucky told the New York Times.
(More Rand Paul stories.)

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