Nov. 3, 2010— -- Candidates backed by the Tea Party scored major victories in Tuesday's mid-term elections even as some of its most high profile candidates suffered upsets.
From South Carolina to Wisconsin, candidates endorsed by Tea Party groups defeated Democrats in unlikely states.
Nikki Haley became the first woman and Indian-American governor in South Carolina.
One of the biggest Tea Party wins was in Wisconsin, where Republican businessman Ron Johnson defeated incumbent Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold.
Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist-turned-politician in Kentucky and one of the first major Tea Party candidates, defeated his opponent Democrat Jack Conway despite bitter campaigns that questioned his personal beliefs and ability to lead.
The Tea Party losses, however, were magnified in states that garnered the most attention.
Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell in Delaware lost by a wide margin to Chris Coons, her Democratic opponent. O'Donnell dominated the national spotlight after she released an ad in which she claimed she is "not a witch."
Sharron Angle, who won the prime spot to run against Senate majority leader Harry Reid, ultimately lost the election even as voters expressed discontent with the economy and the incumbent himself.
One widely discussed effect of public disenchantment this year was the rise of the Tea Party political movement. In preliminary exit poll results, 41 percent of voters described themselves as supporters of this movement; 21 percent supported it strongly. Thirty-one percent said they opposed the movement; the rest, 24 percent, were "neutral" about it.
Still, just 23 percent said they voted to send a message in favor of the Tea Party movement, versus 18 percent against it; 55 percent called the movement "not a factor" in their vote.
In nine Senate exit polls where voters were asked whether they were trying to send a pro-Tea Party message with their vote, no more than about one in four voters said they were. Kentucky and Missouri were at the top of that list.
In Delaware, voters said they were trying to send a message against the Tea Party.
ABC News has compiled a comprehensive guidebook to which Tea Party-backed U.S. Senate, House and gubernatorial candidates are coming to Washington and where they stand on key issues.