WASHINGTON (AP) — Tea party groups have failed again and again this year to win expensive, high-profile Senate races in Kentucky, Oklahoma, Mississippi and elsewhere.
Yet for those tea party groups, business has never been better.
Even as their preferred candidates lose individual races, the groups continue to raise huge sums of money, add names to their mailing lists and recruit new volunteers for future races.
There is no question they are pulling the Republican Party further to the right. GOP lawmakers who previously compromised with Democrats now refuse to budge, even if it means shutting down the government and risking a national default.
Mainstream Republicans, meanwhile, are imploring conservative activists to rethink the money they send to anti-establishment groups like the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and the Senate Conservatives Fund.