Tea Party shaking up politics - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Tea Party shaking up politics

CEDAR FALLS (KWWL)-– A number of states wrapped up their primary elections last week and a new force to be reckoned with emerged in the political spotlight. Several Tea Party candidates including Christine O'Donnell of Delaware won their primary election and are now moving on to represent their party in the upcoming national election in November.

Christine O'Donnell's primary win is just part of this year's pattern as Rand Paul won the GOP senate primary in Kentucky, Sharron Angle in Nevada, Joe Miller in Alaska, and a New York Tea Party candidate won the Republican primary for governor.

South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint is a major player in the Tea Party movement.

"They're asking for some pretty common sense thing like stop spending, stop borrowing, stop adding to the debt," said Senator DeMint.

To get a better understanding of the Tea Party we talked with Dr. Chris Larimer, a Political Science Professor at UNI.

"I think some of the defining characteristics of the tea party is that it's made up of people who dislike what government is doing, have a pretty strong distrust of a lot of government and I think that's their key characteristic. I'm not sure if they have any specific policy details. It really centers around the fundamental theme of distrust of government," said Larimer.

Larimer also says that Tea Party candidates cross all political lines, but are primarily Republicans or Independents. Here in Iowa the Tea party is not expected to make much noise come November.

"I don't think it's very active. I don't see it having any sort of impact on the November election in Iowa given no Tea Party folks did anything in the primaries. So I don't see it having an impact in eastern Iowa," said Larimer.

Here in Iowa, it was former governor candidate Bob Vander Platts who would have made the biggest statement as he was supported by a number of Tea Party groups from across the state, but he lost out to former Governor Terry Branstad in the Iowa's primary.


Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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