09/14/2010 10:20 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Will The GOP's Greatest 2010 Defeat Be Courtesy Of The Tea Party?

Could the tea party's greatest triumph mark the biggest Republican loss this election cycle? Throughout the primary campaign season, the movement's tussles with the GOP have resulted in the rise of Sharron Angle, Rand Paul, and Joe Miller--all tea party-backed candidates who upset the establishment Republican favorites in their respective Senate GOP primaries. And despite this internal squabble, the GOP seemed to be increasing its chances of taking over the Senate, as all had a good shot at winning in the general election. That was until tea partier Christine O'Donnell suddenly surged in the Delaware Republican primary against Rep. Mike Castle.

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