Emboldened after Cantor, tea party crows

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RICHLAND, Miss. (AP) — A conservative underdog's swift dispatch of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia's Republican primary is feeding tea party dreams in the 2014 midterm elections.

Conservative contenders across the country are looking at little-known candidate David Brat's upset of Cantor Tuesday as a sign that tea party-backed contenders could shift the Republican party to the right. Establishment-minded Republicans were digging in and casting the next tea party threats as inadequately prepared for office. The next showdown is June 24 in Mississippi, where Sen. Thad Cochran and his allies are rumbling with state Sen. Chris McDaniel.

Democrats, meanwhile, are watching the GOP chaos with an eye toward whether the tea party might have outsized impact in the November elections, when control of the Senate is at stake.

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