Play Slate's Lean/Lock and test your skills as a political pundit.
The favorite line of Tea Party activists just so happens to be true. The turning point of their long war against the "establishment" was the nearly successful campaign of Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in New York's 23rd district. Hoffman, aided by national endorsements from Sarah Palin and the Tea Party Express, chased Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava out of the race at the 11th hour, as her campaign collapsed. Liberals saw it as a triumph of lunacy over electability, but it scared the D.C. committees out of endorsing their other sure-thing, best-bet establishment candidates.
As the primaries come to a close—they are over in every state except Hawaii—we can see the results of N.Y.-23. The Republican establishment has quietly encouraged its chosen candidates but occasionally been caught flat-footed by the out-of-nowhere Tea Party movement. Here's the scorecard for gubernatorial and federal races. The criteria for whether a candidate was a Tea Party outsider: an endorsement from Sarah Palin, Jim DeMint, the Tea Party Express, or FreedomWorks, or local Tea Party groups.
ALABAMA: 1/3 Establishment picks: Robert Bentley for governor, Parker Griffith and Martha Roby for Congress Tea Party picks: Tim James, Mo Brooks, and Rick Barber Results: Almost Tea Party rout, which had more to do with the generally agreeable conservatism of the "establishment" candidates than the movement's weakness. But the movement took out Parker Griffith, a former Democrat who switched parties, demanded and got establishment support, and lost to the conservative, Brooks, who had scared him into making the switch.
ALASKA:1/1 Establishment pick: Sen. Lisa Murkowski Tea Party pick: Joe Miller Results: Miller won. He had Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, the Tea Party Express, and local Tea Party groups on his side and pulled the upset.
ARIZONA: 1/2 Establishment picks: Sen. John McCain, Jonathan Patton in Ariz.-08 Tea Party picks: J.D. Hayworth for Senate, Jesse Kelly in Ariz.-08 Results: McCain won, aided by Palin, local Tea Party groups, and the general awfulness of Hayworth; Kelly won with Palin's endorsement.
CALIFORNIA: 0/1 Establishment pick: Carly Fiorina, a candidate for the Senate Tea Party pick: Chuck DeVore Results: Fiorina won, aided by her own support from conservatives like Palin and the Susan B. Anthony List.
COLORADO: 2/2 Establishment picks: Scott McInnis for governor, Jane Norton for Senate Tea Party picks: Dan Maes and Ken Buck Results: Both of the insurgents won, although Maes has spent the month since then defying calls to quit the race for someone electable.
CONNECTICUT: 0/1 Establishment pick: Linda McMahon for Senate Tea Party pick: Peter Schiff Results: Schiff, a libertarian economist, never caught fire the way his ideological ally Rand Paul did in Kentucky.
DELAWARE: 2/2 Establishment picks: Mike Castle for Senate, Michelle Rollins for House Tea Party picks: Christine O'Donnell for Senate, Glen Urquhart Results: Tea Partiers strategically attacked this state with a tiny Republican electorate and, as far as most people are concerned, have produced the only state where Democrats will sweep in two months.
FLORIDA: 2/3 Establishment picks: Daniel Webster in Fla.-08, Charlie Crist for Senate, and Bill McCollum for governor. Tea Party picks: Todd Young in Fla.-08, Marco Rubio for Senate, and Rick Scott for governor. Results: Only Webster, who entered the race late and locked up from people like Huckabee, outwitted the Tea Party.