Rand Paul trounced "establishment" Republican Trey Grayson in Kentucky's senate primary, saying his win was a "loud and clear," unambiguous "message from the Tea Party." Republicans pledged unity after the divisive vote, but Paul said he would stick with the Tea Party message during the general campaign. Was this just another local upset, or is Paul right that his victory is strong evidence that November will bring a "Tea Party tidal wave"?
Paul is just a taste of what's to come: Rand Paul's win "speaks volumes" about how "disgruntled" voters are, says Dana Pretzer at Scared Monkeys, and it sets up the Tea Party movement nicely for an electoral "revolution" this fall. This is the "wake up call the Tea Party folks have been vocal about for some time," and the political establishment ignores it at its own peril.
"Rand Paul and the Tea Party win..."
This was a GOP, not Tea Party, win: Take the Tea Party "insurgency" spin with a grain of salt, says Ed Kilgore at FiveThirtyEight. Paul's victory wasn't "fed by unhappy independent voters," since only Republicans could vote in Kentucky's closed primary. In fact, polls show that Paul's edge over Grayson came from "'movement conservative' Republicans rather than Tea Party independents."
"Kentucky Senate preview"
Rand Paul won as Rand Paul: Paul's win does mean "the Tea Party finally has a real notch in its belt," says Marc Ambinder in The Atlantic. That said, "let's be careful about giving this amorphous movement too much credit." Paul represented "change," but he is also GOP-libertarian icon Ron Paul's son, and that matters a lot. At least for now, the Tea Party is "firmly yoked" to the GOP, and its fortunes in November will reflect those of its host party.
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