Tea Party Power: Purely Good News for Dems?

By Tom McCarthy

Sep 15, 2010 11:30am

Republican eminence grise Karl Rove made no secret of his displeasure at Tea Party-backed candidate Christine O'Donnell topping establishment Republican Mike Castle in last night's Delaware Senate primary. “There’s just a lot of nutty things she’s been saying that just simply don’t add up,” Rove said on Fox News. “I’m for the Republican, but I’ve got to tell you, we were looking at eight to nine seats in the Senate. We’re now looking at seven to eight. In my opinion, this is not a race we’re going to be able to win.”

Karl Rove is not often caught keening; for Democrats the sound is sweetest music. And indeed the assumption at work this morning — with the victory of Carl Paladino in New York and the strong showing of Ovide Lamontagne in New Hampshire — is that the Tea Party is the Republican's problem. But are Democrats smug in their confidence that the GOP's apparent loss is necessarily their gain? Or do these victories represent political tremors that transcend the old red-state, blue-state thinking– in a way that won't work out well for either party? 

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