Delaware’s tea party candidate for the Senate, Christine O’Donnell, poses with two young supporters at a local tax day rally in Wilmington in this shot from her campaign website.
In the lead-up to November’s midterm elections, there have been signs in some states that moderate Republican candidates might face considerable challenges from tea party contenders. Whether this will all add up to more power at the polls for the GOP or divisive fractures within conservative ranks, however, remains to be seen. —KA
In the highest-profile races, the results will provide further evidence of whether the tea party movement can continue to knock off moderate GOP contenders. The victors will run in November against Democrats considered vulnerable due to high unemployment and a general anti-incumbent mood across America.
In Delaware, nine-term Republican Rep. Mike Castle is in a tight contest with political commentator and tea party favorite Christine O’Donnell in the GOP U.S. Senate primary.
The bitterly contested campaign saw O’Donnell receive the endorsement of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and more than $150,000 in late spending from the Tea Party Express.
In response, conservative stalwart Bill Kristol, who fears O’Donnell is incapable of winning the Senate seat in November, said: “I know Sarah Palin. I respect Sarah Palin. And with all due respect—Christine O’Donnell is no Sarah Palin.”