While some polls have been showing Democrats apparently closing in on their Republican opponents, a major Tea Party event is expected to boost the GOP's chances in the midterm elections, which are just over two weeks away.
The first Virginia Tea Party Convention was held on Oct. 9 in the state capital Richmond, and attracted some 2,000 activists who demonstrated their anger through banners that said "No Socialism" and "Keep America Free," according to media reports.
Among the high-profile speakers were former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) as well as former CNN anchor Lou Dobbs.
Interestingly, even though the candidates backed by the grassroots movement run under the GOP banner, their independence and anti-establishment agenda were clear.
"I don't think there'd be a Tea Party if the Republican Party had been a party of limited government in the first part of this decade," said Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, quoted by The Washington Post.
In a straw poll held in conjunction with the event, New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris Christie won the first place with 14 percent support, followed by Sarah Palin at 13.5 percent.
Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas), former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) rounded off the top five most popular candidates.