Primary Results and the Tea Party: Is the Movement Gaining or Losing Influence?

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ByABC News
August 25, 2010, 8:37 AM

Aug. 25, 2010— -- The morning after key primary elections in Florida, Arizona and Alaska, people across the country are reading the ballot tallies like tea leaves, trying to discern the influence of the Tea Party movement.

In Alaska, Tea Party-backed candidate Joe Miller -- strongly supported by former Gov. Sarah Palin -- appears close to ousting Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski. With nearly all the precincts reporting, Miller leads Murkowski by about 2,000 votes, and it appears the race could come down to the absentee ballots.

In Arizona, though, the Tea Party-backed candidate J.D. Hayworth failed to defeat Sen. John McCain, who won relatively easily with 56 percent of the vote. McCain was supported by Palin, but he still had to spend $21 million in campaign funds to get to his win.

And then in Florida, both Republican candidates for governor, Rick Scott and Attorney General Bill McCollum claimed Tea Party support. But Scott, a millionaire businessman who threw $50 million of his own money into the race, took the win.

Our question to you today: Do the primary results show that the Tea Party movement is gaining or losing influence?

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