Who are these Tea party people we keep hearing so much about? Here is a quick breakdown:
There is a movement in the United States right now that may change the face of the political landscape for generations. An offshoot of the Republican Party, the Tea Party has managed to gain notoriety thanks in large part to their knocking off moderate and establishment Republicans in Primaries and setting themselves up for national election wins or at least competition. Some Tea Partiers have little shot of actually winning a seat but the fact that they were able to represent a party that wants very little to do with them shows the kind of power they are developing. Other Tea Partiers have a legitimate shot at going to Washington and attempting to evoke their own brand of politics on the Nation’s Capital.
Joe Miller – Miller is one Tea Partier who seems like a shoo-in to win one of the United States Senate seats representing Alaska. A virtual unknown, having little political experience before the Republican Primary he managed to unseat long time Republican incumbent Lisa Murkowski in a race that was too close to calls even days after the polls had closed.
Miller claims to be a strict Constitutionalist and deeply fiscally conservative. He says that Americans are not allowed to live beyond their means and that the federal government should cut spending in order to cut the deficit.
Christine O’Donnell — O’Donnell, who has long been a strong advocate for conservative religious beliefs as a political pundit also came out of nowhere to take the Republican nod for Vice President Joe Biden’s vacated Senate Seat. Republican Congressman Mike Castle was the GOP’s choice for the seat and after holding double digit leads as late as a week before the primary he was toppled. O’Donnell’s primary win briefly formed a schism within the Republican Party with luminaries like Karl Rove saying she had no chance of winning the general.
Despite being a Tea Party darling, it appears that Rove was right as O’Donnell has recently showed up more than 20 points behind the Democratic candidate for the seat, Mike Coons. This is actually a seat that was predicted to be a Republican blowout if Castle had won the primary and many Democrats have been celebrating since O’Donnell’s win.
“Dan Maes” – Maes is running for Governor of Colorado and like Miller and O’Donnell was not the favorite to win the GOP nomination before his victory. Unfortunately for Maes the success seems to have gone to his head. Claims that Denver is engaging in a socialist plot with the United Nations, and then even more bizarre claims that he used to work for the Kansas Police department as an undercover agent (Kansas Law Enforcement has said they have no knowledge of him working with them) have made the Tea Party step away from the candidate. This is another spot that was a Republican shoo-in before the Tea Partier won the nomination and will now almost assuredly go to the Democrats.
Mike Lee – Lee, like Miller appears headed to Washington. The Utah Republican Senate nominee knocked off incumbent Bob Bennett in the primaries and will most likely get the nod in the general election in the conservative state. Lee is a former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and says that he is staunchly fiscally conservative. Lee actually had to beat out another Tea Partier to get his party’s nomination.