But in recent months, tea party activists helped kill a proposed sales tax hike in Georgia, pushed to have taxpayers send public school children to private schools in Pennsylvania and drove a referendum blocking state health insurance mandates in Ohio.
And in the battle for control of the Senate, tea party-backed candidates Richard Mourdock in Indiana and Ted Cruz in Texas have come from behind to upset establishment favorites in GOP primaries — in Mourdock's case, defeating longtime incumbent Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind.
Obama's team claims to be giddy over Romney's choice of Ryan, whose budget proposals have breathed life into the Democratic argument that Republicans want to rob seniors of the entitlement programs their health and financial security depend on.
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