Yesterday’s primaries were expected to be a test of the Tea Party movement’s capacity to influence political outcomes leading up to the general elections in November. With some precincts still counting the votes, it appears that Tea Party-backed candidates did well overall, even if not everywhere.
They may have a cause for celebration in Alaska and Florida. In the former, incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is believed to be trailing Joe Miller, a political novice supported by the anti-establishment grassroots movement and former Governor Sarah Palin, according to The Associated Press.
In the Sunshine State, fiscally conservative candidate Marco Rubio has been declared winner of the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.
"Rubio owes his position to the Tea Party, the 9/12 groups and the other grassroots groups," said Robin Stublen, a local Florida activist, quoted by The Daily Caller.
In fact, the strength of that support forced Governor Charlie Crist to leave the GOP, and he will now face Rubio as an independent candidate in November.
However, the populist movement appears to have suffered a setback in Arizona, where former GOP presidential candidate and Palin-backed John McCain defeated his conservative and strongly anti-immigrant opponent J.D. Hayworth after a bitter and divisive campaign.