Tim Kaine

Democrats say 'tea partiers' will help them

By Stephen Dinan and Sean Lengell-The Washington Times

With less than three weeks before Election Day, the “tea party” remains the key unknown for both parties, with Democrats saying the movement will cost the GOP seats and Republicans saying it’s part of an anti-establishment sentiment that will power them to majorities in one or both chambers of Congress.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine on Thursday said his party could hold or win a handful of Senate seats they thought were lost to them months ago, but where the Republican nominee is a tea party-powered candidate.

The list is topped by Delaware’s race, where Republican Christine O’Donnell’s primary victory left Democrat Chris Coons with a wide lead in the polls. Mr. Kaine said the slate extends to Kentucky and Nevada, as well as Alaska, where a tea party-backed Republican defeated Sen. Lisa Murkowski in a primary.

“We take all these races seriously … but there were races where we felt we had virtually no chance of winning six months ago and that we feel like we have very legit chances to win now,” Mr. Kaine told reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

But former Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, who ran House Republicans’ campaign committee for two cycles while representing Northern Virginia, said the tea parties are an indication of deep discontent with the Washington establishment in both parties, and he said that’s going to lead to broad Democratic losses this year.

“The voters took their shot at Republicans in 2006, at [President George W.] Bush, and in 2008, and now they’re still very upset. Things have gotten worse, not better. These tea party candidates, people like that, they’re anti-establishment candidates, and they benefited from the mood of the voter — ‘we tried everything else’ — and they have capitalized on that,” Mr. Davis said.

As for the GOP, he said tea party voters are “an energy source” providing enthusiasm and boosting the chances for a big Republican turnout, which was missing from the party’s 2006 and 2008 efforts.

Mr. Davis, who is chairman of the moderate coalition Republican Main Street Partnership, said the environment is so bad for Democrats that some surprise big names will lose on election night.

To read more, visit: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/oct/14/partisans-pore-over-tea/

No comments yet - you can be the first!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.