While their counterparts in the House are celebrating a historic win, Senate Republicans are pointing fingers over their failure to recapture the chamber. Some prominent senators and party operatives blame Sarah Palin and South Carolina's Jim DeMint for helping candidates too conservative to win gain the GOP nominations in Colorado, Delaware, and Nevada. "If you think what happened in Delaware is ‘a win’ for the Republican Party then we don’t have a snowball’s chance to win the White House," says Sen. Lindsay Graham.
Another high-profile GOP senator, who didn't want to be named, tells Politico that while the Tea Party was a winner, DeMint "was the big loser" on Tuesday. "We came tantalizingly close to a majority," the senator says, describing himself as "mystified" by DeMint's tactics. Sources close to DeMint reject the criticism, saying that the party establishment should have put more money into closer races instead of on an "$8 million gamble in California," where Carly Fiorina lost to Barbara Boxer.