Public Anger Boosted Rand Paul to Victory

But win may not signal Tea Party breakthrough
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2010 3:06 AM CDT
Public Anger Boosted Rand Paul to Victory
Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul addresses supporters at his victory party in Bowling Green, Ky.    (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)

Rand Paul's resounding Senate win in Kentucky's GOP primary represents a major upset for the Republican Party and a major victory for the Tea Party movement. Paul—who led opponent Trey Grayson by 59% to 35% with 89% of precincts reported—tapped into voter anger at Washington far more successfully than Grayson, notes Manu Raju at Politico, predicting the win will send shockwaves through the Republican Party nationwide.

Much about Paul's win was specific to Kentucky, however, Joshua Green writes in the Atlantic, arguing that last night's result doesn't necessarily signal major Tea Party gains this fall. The Kentucky primary was closed, he notes, so there's no sign that Independents or Democrats will back a Tea Party candidate. Paul also had the support of a celebrity dad who brought name recognition, money, and volunteers, and faced an opponent whose family members were well-known Democratic fundraisers until recently.
(Read more Rand Paul stories.)

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