Republicans worry some of their primaries might produce tea party nominees who could be weak general election candidates. If victorious, others could fundamentally change the character of the Senate GOP. Unexpectedly close races could be a sign of enduring strength for the tea party.
Karl Rove says his new political group isn't aiming to defeat tea party candidates – just poor politicians. Rep. Paul Broun, who is running for Senate in Georgia, may be the group's first test case.
President Obama and the Senate appear to be on the same page in debt-ceiling talks. But House Republicans are so far holding firm on their no-new-taxes demands.