September 14th, 2010
11:44 PM ET
4 years ago

Analysis: Tea Party win raises questions about future of the GOP

(CNN) – CNN senior political analyst David Gergen said Tea Party favorite Christine O'Donnell's Delaware upset could spell trouble for the Republican Party.

O'Donnell knocked off former governor and nine-time U.S. Rep. Mike Castle in the GOP Senate primary on Tuesday.

"It's the clearest rebellion we've had all season. The biggest anti-establishment vote that's occurring against Republican candidates," Gergen said.

"One clear result out of Delaware is the chances of Republicans now gaining the Senate have gone down significantly. Delaware was an automatic pickup for Republicans before Mike Castle went down," he said.

National Republicans have already indicated they're not likely to rally around O'Donnell amid concerns that she has no chance of winning the seat – once held by Vice President Biden for 26 years – in November.

"For moderate Republicans who are thinking about a future in the GOP, when Mike Castle goes down ... when he goes down to a Tea Party candidate you've got a real insurgency going on in the party and it's leaving a lot of moderate Republicans tonight shaking their heads, not quite sure what the future of the party is," he said.


Filed under: 2010 • Analysis • Republican Party • Tea Party movement
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. GAK

    I bet we don't see Boehner and Steele doing a lot of crowing now that one of their own got beat!! How are you guys going to handle all of hte these Palin wannabe's??? I see a lot of turmoil in the GOP come Nov..When they don't have control over these new members of Congress..Boehner, You might not be the new Speaker come Nov. Who knows it might be one of Palin's people!!! Wouldn't that be a hoot!!!!

    September 14, 2010 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  2. Gary's Thoughts

    The tea party is not republican or democrat....we want balanced budgets, smaller government, lower taxes....we are fed up with the fiscal irresponsibility of both parties.

    September 14, 2010 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  3. Frank in Valparaiso Indiana

    Go Tea party, take the GOP to hell where it belongs.

    September 14, 2010 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  4. Sophie T

    I wonder when moderate Republicans will get it? Until and unless they aggressively distance themselves from extremists such as Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, et al, the collective hole that they've been digging themselves into will just get deeper and deeper.

    September 14, 2010 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  5. On Board

    Most Americans with any sense are tired of the way things are headed
    in this country the last two years.Is that a better statement Anne P. ?
    And yes I do know what socialism is, having seen it in action many times. Study your history books, you will see it does not work. I have many ideas for fixing this country, but they are complex and I won't waste time trying to present them in a manner your liberal mind can grasp.

    September 15, 2010 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  6. Jerry

    Michael Steele had better pay attention to the shellacing the incumbent and 'moderate' RINOs are taking this year. The Republican party is moving back to their conservative roots and those who do not follow the conservative movement will be run over or thrown out. That includes YOU, Michael.

    What happened to you supporting your constituent's choices? You are nothing more than a libtard with an elephant bumper sticker.

    September 15, 2010 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  7. Snow

    BULL POOP, castle was no guaranted win nor is O'Donnell a guaranteed loser. Donations will go straight to her instead of to the NRSC, because the NRSC does not tell us who to vote for. castle was a RINO and if a person is a RINO then they just as well be a demorat.

    September 15, 2010 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  8. faisal

    the result of todays primaries shows that people still are trusting on this government and believe that president obama will not let down the trust of americans, hopefully nov elections will set a line for next term for this gov.

    September 15, 2010 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  9. MG

    Gergen is another boob ... Americans have had enough of the "parties working together" and "moderates" ... look at where it has gotten us ... there needs to be a clear line of difference between the parties ... and then people can decide whether they want to try and save America ... or continue down the path to Socialist-type suicide that even Fidel Castro is trying to get out of

    September 15, 2010 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  10. YZER Than BS in AZ

    See ya later Repugs!! The Tea Party did us all a favor and is going to totally screw up the election like Nader did for Gore. The Dems will win and this country will get to work like it should. The Party of NO is NO MORE!!

    September 15, 2010 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  11. Denny

    Maybe the RNC should read the writing on the wall. We don't give a flip whether or not they don't like the Tea Party candidates. The message is simple, call yourself a Republican, vote like a liberal and your out too. The Dems think they have it made in Delaware now, maybe not. We are tired of Joe Biden politics, tired of business as usual from both parties. This is your wake up call. Pack your bags, you've misused your office for the last time. The American people are fed up with you.

    September 15, 2010 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  12. J.V.Hodgson

    They are against big government and spending . All well and good as a sound bite in a speech.
    The difficult bit is saying where you will cut big enough to have an impact. When they start to say where as some have I think they are damaging Republican chances to win even more.
    They for sure would vote to retain the tax cuts for the rich, currently in place. That alone adds 700BN over 10 years to thier beloved national debt number.
    Thier challenge just got bigger, when mainstream Republicans are not inclined to agree.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    September 15, 2010 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  13. Phillip Bias

    they had better rally around the chosen canidate
    or they will be guilty of not following the will of the people
    and thats what has caused the dems to run and hide
    and they dont want to do that, it would cost them just as much as the dems. not lisyening to the majority is a slap in the face,and we can return that slap a thousand folk

    September 15, 2010 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  14. BlackUSAguy

    I keep telling you people that the Tea Party are really Democrats set out to destroy the GOP. Watch and see.

    September 15, 2010 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  15. Henry

    The GOP created this monster in their bid to say NO to Obama. Now they will have to deal with the consequencies. You can't eat your cake and have it.

    September 15, 2010 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  16. rook

    so the MSM demonizes the tea party.. calls all conservative thinkers radicals. and then automatically thinks that all the people of Delaware that were going to vote for Castle will instead vote for the democrat that will be in Obama's pocket....Instead of demonizing the tea party because of a few fringe thinkers (i.e. birthers ect) The MSM ignored the larger movement that is just fed up with increasing the size of government. Last time I checked teh country was still a majority conservative as compared to liberal, so whats wrong with a candidate that has conservative leanings.....Obama won with very liberal leanings

    September 15, 2010 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  17. CaliforniaBC

    Moderate Republicans?? There're no such thing anymore. They're all far right, our way or the high way crazies. And even IF there were moderates left they're ostracized by the party.

    September 15, 2010 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  18. Renea

    Im a Democrat and i dont vote for a Democratic candidate just to be voting i vote because of what they stand for if they are in line with my belief. If i really had to vote for a moderate Republican or a extreme right candidate believe me the moderate candidate will get my vote. You dont vote for candidates out of anger because you are mad with the other guy you really are headed for trouble because when the dust settles and it hits home then what .but wait you voted for the extreme right candidate that want to stop financial aide just trying to make a point.

    September 15, 2010 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  19. Foxfan

    They only have a small chance I can see in Nevada that GOP had a good chance before Tea Party nominated. GOP may lose come November.

    September 15, 2010 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  20. genecloner

    Republicans sowed the wind with their divisive talk – now they are reaping the whirlwind. How biblical! They'll like that.

    September 15, 2010 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  21. Nathan Jar

    It seems like moderate Republicans tried to moderately bankrupt the country. Liberal Democrats accelerated the process.

    I don't think anyone wants to be moderately bankrupt.

    Obama likes to say to Repubs, 'No you can't have the keys back, when you had the wheel you drove the car into the ditch.'

    Maybe we need to consider that the people who took the wheel two years ago had a blood alcohol level twice as high as the dipsticks that were in there before them.

    September 15, 2010 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  22. cityguy

    Move, follow or get out of the way...

    September 15, 2010 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  23. Graham

    Republicans better figure something out, and quick. Maybe a shift towards the libertarians? Less social issues and more economic ones might bring over 3rd party liberals like myself. I can deal with some conservative compromises on economics if they lay off the social issues and bring some concrete ideas and a willingness to contour them if they don't work. The argument that government should be small can be paired with a commitment to honest evaluations and fluidity of practice.

    September 15, 2010 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  24. Marry

    What questions? It is only logical that the GOP with the “work” they have done (“All we can do to make the President fail”) cannot get people to vote for the GOP record having done nothing to benefit the American people. On the contrary, they brought up the “group” of rightwing extremists wrapped in the flag, waiving the cross; inciting with thoughtless, irresponsible, stupid, and slanderous talk far too many, making millions after millions on misguiding America. Out of that you have candidates with no positive credentials, no positive solutions, scrupulous and with no conscience. Extreme does not work for the people only for the extreme rich! Extreme (even with a smile) and responsible do not go together. Inform yourself honestly! Don’t vote extreme and emotional, vote responsible and smart!

    September 15, 2010 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  25. anthony

    Who would have thunk it? The Tea Party is deadlier to Republicans than Democrats?

    Voters, do you want to put a party who cannot even control its own fringe back in charge?

    September 15, 2010 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
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