GOP establishment on a roll over tea party

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Three-term Sen. Pat Roberts dispatched tea party favorite Milton Wolf on Tuesday, adding Kansas to the list of states where tea partyers have tried and failed to knock out Republican Senate incumbents this year.

The Senate GOP establishment is now basking in a solid string of wins following triumphs in Texas, Kentucky, South Carolina and Mississippi.

Establishment Republicans are upbeat about Thursday's primary in Tennessee, where they expect two-term Sen. Lamar Alexander to turn back a challenge from state Rep. Joe Carr.

Three months to Election Day, the GOP is increasingly optimistic about gaining the six seats necessary to seize control of the Senate, no longer worried that not-ready-for-prime-time candidates will stumble in the general election.

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