Last night politicians came to a reality that the public has known about for a long time as the Tea Party and non-establishment candidates won major "surprise" victories. The takeaway from these results is that Americans are mad and they will be heard as they cast their votes.
The most headline grabbing "upset" on Tuesday night was Christine O'Donnell's victory over Congressman Michael Castle in Delaware's Republican primary for Senate. Castle seemed all but assured of his place in the Senate as he drew an unknown Democratic opponent and paid little attention to an even more unknown primary challenge. Yet, with the backing of the Tea Party O'Donnell finished strong and ousted Castle, a Delaware political staple for decades.
Delaware is no fluke, neither was Nevada earlier in the year, nor was Carl Paladino's victory in the Republican primary for governor in New York last night. Palladino's victory speech mirrors the feelings of not only New Yorkers, but people across the nation as he said "Tonight the ruling class knows. There is a people's revolution. The people have had enough!"
Indeed, the American people have had enough of a government that increases spending while doing little to nothing to promote job growth, help small businesses, and strengthen the economy. The primaries are showing that it isn't just an ant-Democratic wave that is swelling, but an anti-incumbent one as well.
However, whereas the establishment Republicans are paying the price in primary season, we will see the Democrats suffer in November.
Let's be clear, the Tea Party movement is strong and all of these candidates who have beaten out party favorites are poised to continue the trend against Democrats, especially in the houses of Congress.
Party favorites on the Republican side are losing these races because the party has clearly shown it has no clear message that resonates with voters. However, it is the Democrats who are in power, and it is their policies and agenda the people are mad about.
On the Senate side, they could lose 8 to 9 seats to Republicans, including Tea Party nominees. In the House that number grows exponentially and could include enough to see a new majority after the elections.
As usual, Washington has shown it is out of touch with the people it represents. Last night folks in Congress they woke up to the fact the people vote. November will bring more of the same.
Douglas Schoen is a political strategist and author of the new book "Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System" (Harper 2010).
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