California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer defeated challenger Carly Fiorina by a ten-point margin on Tuesday, winning a total of 3.7 million votes, more than the combined vote total of ten Tea Party senate candidates.
The Tea Party Senate candidates made big news, but they ran mostly in small states. Also, several lost.
Christine O’Donnell got a lot of publicity in the nation, but only 122,000 votes in Delaware. Boxer got more than that in Long Beach.
Joe Miller in Alaska got only 68,000 votes. Sharron Angle in Nevada got only 321,000 votes.
O’Donnell, Miller and Angle lost their elections—along with Linda McMahon in Connecticut—but even the Tea Party candidates who won didn’t get very many votes compared to Boxer. Rand Paul in Kentucky was elected with 752,000 votes; Boxer got five times that many. She got twenty times more than Tea Party winner John Hoeven in North Dakota, ten times more than Mike Crapo in Idaho.
The biggest Tea Party vote getter nationally among Senate candidates was Marco Rubio in Florida, with 2.6 million votes—but that was a million votes less than Boxer.
The point is that, while the Tea Party was portrayed by the media as a big favorite among voters on Tuesday, in fact the vote total among their Senate candidates was small compared to the Democrats’ biggest vote-getter.
The Tea Party itself was not responsible for a single Republican pickup in the Senate. And they were responsible for the Republicans’ failure to pick up at least two Democratic seats: if they had not run Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and Linda McMahon in Connecticut, Republicans probably would have won those two seats.
Sharron Angle and the Tea Party in 2010 was the best thing that ever happened to Harry Reid—and Sarah Palin in 2012 would be the best thing that could happen to Barack Obama.
For the record, the ten Tea Party Senate candidates (as identified by Fox News) whose total votes were less than Boxer’s (3,686,000): Joe Miller, Alaska (68,000), Christine O’Donnell, Delaware (123,000), John Hoeven, North Dakota (178,000), Mike Crapo, Idaho (310,000), Sharron Angle, Nevada (321,000), Mike Lee, Utah (360,000), John Boozman, Arkansas (432,000), Linda McMahon, Connecticut (453,000), Jerry Moran, Kansas (571,000), and Dino Rossi, Washington state (708,000 with some uncounted at this hour).