Two conflicting Tea Party narratives emerged from the 2010 elections. The first is that the tea party helped the GOP take back the House of Representatives, with dozens of tea party freshmen flooding into the Capitol. The second involves the Senate, where the candidacies of tea partiers Sharron Angle, Christian O’Donnell and Ken Buck arguably cost the GOP control of the upper house of Congress.
The far right, straight-from-Fox/Rush rhetoric of the Tea Party seems to translate well to local elections, where gerrymandering has made the extremes tolerable. But on a state-wide level, voters in swing states at least are reluctant to elect someone whose chief qualification is anger.
In 2012 a new flock of raging tea partiers is trying to take the Senate. They don’t believe in compromise and they’re ready to turn the faux decorum of the Senate into the comments section of your least favorite website. Beware.