Tea party focused on coming GOP Senate primaries

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has been mounting an aggressive campaign in Missouri. She's appearing in television and radio ads, making automated telephone calls — even serving barbecue pork at a political picnic.

Palin wants people to vote for Sarah Steelman, one of three top Republicans competing in a primary Tuesday for the right to challenge Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill

After the recent victory by Texan Ted Cruz in a GOP Senate primary, Palin and the tea party movement now are trying to capitalize in primaries elsewhere.

But that may pose a difficult test. In Missouri, conservative loyalties are fractured among Steelman, businessman John Brunner and Congressman Todd Akin. Divided loyalties also exist among conservatives in upcoming Senate primaries in Wisconsin and Arizona.