(CNN) – As Sharron Angle celebrated her win in Nevada's Republican Senate primary, she praised the Tea Party activists who backed her campaign and vowed to return the country to its constitutional principles.
Angle, a former Nevada Assembly member criticized as being too far from the mainstream to win, soared to the front of the crowded field of more than a dozen GOP candidates. She'll face Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the general election.
The Tea Party Express, which endorsed her campaign, declared Angle's win "a huge victory for the Tea Parties."
But so far this election season, the message for Tea Party activists has been "you win some, you lose some."
As Angle was declaring victory, several time zones away, a slew of Tea Party candidates were going home empty-handed after establishment candidate Robert Hurt stomped them in the primary race for Virginia's 5th Congressional District.
Despite a nationwide wave of anti-incumbent fervor and a Tea Party cry to "throw the bums out," far more sitting lawmakers have survived than have been ousted.