How did the anti-tax activists do in the primaries?

Who's winning, who's losing, and why.
Sept. 15 2010 5:29 PM

The Tea Party Scorecard

How did the anti-tax activists do in the primaries?

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IDAHO: 1/1 Establishment pick: Vaughn Ward for Congress Tea Party pick: Raul Labrador Results: This one was a mess. The national GOP and Palin both liked Ward. Local activists liked Labrador. The Tea Party Express gave its lone Democratic endorsement to Rep. Walt Minnick, the man they wanted to defeat. But Ward stumbled in debates and lost to Labrador, who did a better job of courting the movement.


ILLINOIS: 1/3 Establishment picks: Rep. Mark Kirk for U.S. Senate, Kirk Dillard for governor, Kathleen Parker for Ill.-10 Tea Party picks: Pat Hughes for U.S. Senate, Adam Andrzejewski for governor, Robert Dold for Ill.-10 Results: Kirk's rout and Andrewjeski's poor showing inspired a few news outlets to prematurely declare the Tea Party's political power overrated. It's clear now, however, that the movement's political organs just needed more money and experience: Illinois's February primary was too early to take advantage of.


INDIANA: 0/2 Establishment pick: Dan Coats for U.S. Senate, Dan Burton for Congress Tea Party pick: Marlin Stutzman, multiple candidates against Burton Results: Stutzman, aided by Jim DeMint, outperformed the polls but lost a three-way race; Burton's vote collapsed, but he got more support than any one challenger. Stutzman got a happy ending: After Rep. Mark Souder was felled by a sex scandal, Sutzman won the right to run and replace him.


IOWA: 1/2 Establishment picks: Terry Branstad for governor, Jim Gibbons for Congress Tea Party picks: Bob Vander Plaats, Brad Zaun Results: Branstad, helped by a surprising Palin endorsement that offended some of Palin's Iowa supporters, held off Vander Plaats; Zaun surprised everyone.


KANSAS: 0/1 Establishment pick: Jerry Moran for Senate Tea Party pick: Todd Tiahrt for Senate Results: Tiahrt lost despite support from Palin and the Tea Party Express and a campaign based on his down-the-line conservatism.


KENTUCKY: 2/2 Establishment picks: Trey Grayson for U.S. Senate, Jeff Reetz for Ky.-3 Tea Party picks: Rand Paul, Todd Lally Results: Paul and Lally easily won; in the latter race, a wealthy restaurant owner was defeated by a commercial pilot.


MARYLAND: 0/1 Establishment pick: Bob Ehrlich for governor Tea Party pick: Brian Murphy Results: Ehrlich easily defeated Murphy, who had jumped into the face first and gotten the faintest of second winds when Sarah Palin endorsed him.


MICHIGAN: 2/2 Establishment picks: Mickey Switalski, Jason Allen Tea Party picks: Andrew Raczkowski, Dan Benishek Results: The Tea Party candidates entered their races long before the movement really got going and kept their support after stronger-on-paper candidates came in. Banishek triumphed by 15 votes in his primary, a reward for taking on Bart Stupak when no one else would.


MISSOURI: 1/1 Establishment pick: Bill Stouffer for Congress Tea Party pick: Vicky Hartzler Results: Hartzler, who had retired from politics and was viewed nervously by the local GOP, upset Stouffer, a state senator.


NEVADA: 1/1 Establishment pick: Sue Lowden Tea Party pick: Sharron Angle Results: The Tea Party benefited from Harry Reid's successful kneecapping of Lowden, his best-polling opponent, and got Angle over the finish line, where she immediately emerged as a "problematic" candidate who needed D.C. aides to bail her out.