In Charleston, S.C., where the Civil War began, conservative tradition is woven deep into politics. It's also where Tim Scott, an African-American, is running for congress as a Republican.
Scott is a conservative with the backing of Sarah Palin and the tea party -- endorsements he says he is proud to have.
"Absolutely, and if you believe in conservative government, if you believe in free market capitalism, if you believe in not spending money you don't have, you're a tea party member as well," Scott says.
Scott beat out a crowded Republican primary field that included the son of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond.
The latest polls in South Carolina show Scott far ahead of his opponent, Democrat Ben Frasier, in a district where white voters outnumber blacks three to one.
If Scott wins, he would be the first black Republican Congressman from the deep south since 1901.
This year 42 blacks ran for the Republican nomination for House seats, and 14 of them won. And like Republicans everywhere this year, they are harsh critics of President Obama.
"I'll go anywhere you want, to debate your failed big government policies," says the television ad of tea-party favorite Allan West, who is running for the House in Florida's 22nd District.
The retired Army lieutenant-colonel has been gaining momentum in his bid to unseat Rep. Ron Klein, a Democrat from Boca Raton, Fla.
Ryan Frazier, 33, is in a tight race in Colorado's 7th Congressional District against incumbent Democrat Rep. Ed Perlmutter.
Perlmutter won easily two years ago, when then candidate Barack Obama accepted his party's nomination in Denver.
Frazier has the backing of the tea party movement, but says his campaign is focused more on fiscal responsibility and jobs. Frazier admits that Republicans haven't done enough to attract African American voters.
"I'll be the first to tell you we have a way to go to engage further in minority communities," he says. "I quite frankly feel that in many cases, Democrats take minorities for granted and that Republicans have not done enough to engage."
Democrats scoff at the notion that 14 black candidates out of 435 house seats is a trend. When it comes to presidential politics, the numbers have been moving in the opposite direction -- George W. Bush received 11 percent of the black vote in 2004, while John McCain received just 4 percent in 2008.
But Republicans say this time they really are opening the doors to new faces.