Tea Party Set to Have Real Pull in Congress

But movement may hurt GOP more than it helps
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2010 3:45 AM CDT
Updated Oct 15, 2010 7:30 AM CDT
David Ficke, of Maryland Heights, Mo., attends the "Gateway to November" rally hosted by the St. Louis Tea Party and Tea Party Patriots last month.   (AP Photo/Whitney Curtis)

(Newser) – The Tea Party movement looks set to emerge from next month's election with enough members of Congress to be able to advance its agenda, a New York Times analysis finds. Eight Tea-Party backed Senate candidates and 33 House candidates stand a good or better chance of winning and the caucus is likely to exert influence beyond its numbers, pressuring Republican leaders to cut spending and taxes and repeal health care legislation.

Most Tea Party-backed candidates, however, are running in Democrat-held districts where they have little chance of winning, the Times analysis finds. The movement's candidates are leading mainly in races that the Republicans expected to win anyway. In some House and Senate races where Democrats have taken an unexpected lead, the Republican establishment's fears that the Tea Party's influence would lead to the selection of less viable candidates are being proved correct.

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