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Tea Party Tally

How is the tea party doing in Senate races?

The GOP, fueled by the tea party movement, is all but certain to take control of the House. The Senate is another story, even though tea party-backed candidates are doing well in key races.

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Ms. O’Donnell’s problem also may be one of geography. Delaware is a politically moderate state, and a CNN/Public Opinion Research poll earlier this month finds Coons with a 68-22 percent advantage among moderates.

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“She’s running in absolutely the wrong place,” Fairleigh Dickinson political science professor and survey analyst Dan Cassino told the News Journal newspaper in Delaware. “If she were in Kentucky or Alaska, she’d be winning.’’

In Delaware, the Daily Beast’s Election Oracle says, O’Donnell has only a 10 percent chance of winning.

Marco Rubio in Florida

Marco Rubio is still ahead, but his margin is slipping in Florida’s three-way race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.

Mr. Rubio has 42 to 35 percent for Gov. Charlie Crist, who’s running as an independent. Democrat Kendrick Meek trails at 15 percent. Two weeks ago, Rubio led Governor Crist by nearly twice that margin (44 to 30 percent) in the Quinnipiac poll.

A TCPalm.com/Zogby poll of likely voters has essentially the same result and trend.

“I don’t think you can put a fork into it quite yet,” University of Florida political science professor Daniel Smith told TCPalm.com. “Mark Rubio’s lead is now outside the margin of error, but the fact of the matter is we don’t know how the undecided will break. They’re not often given the opportunity to vote for a third party candidate as we have in Charlie Crist.”

Still, Mr. Silver’s model has Rubio winning 43.6 percent of the vote next Tuesday, compared to 31.7 for Crist and 23.7 for Mr. Meek.

In what may be a desperation move prompted by the strength of the tea party movement, Crist has a new TV spot urging Floridians to vote for him as the way to stop “extremism … the road Sarah Palin, the tea party, and Marco Rubio want to take us down.”

Funny, that. Back in 2008, loyal Republican Crist was saying Ms. Palin as John McCain’s running mate would do a “great job” if she had to step in as president.

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