4:50 p.m. - Few Republican lawmakers were as stung by Rep. Mike Castle's surprising loss to his conservative GOP opponent as Maine Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe.
In a hallway just off the Senate floor Thursday afternoon, she sounded off about her place as a moderate in the GOP, and voter anger she says she understands.
Visibly sad, Snowe called Castle "an outstanding public servant who was committed to the common good of his state and country."
The longer Snowe talked about the state of the GOP and the Tea Party movement, the more riled up she got.
"Understand, there are a lot of issues that, for example, in the Tea Party that they raise that are legitimate issues. Did we abandon our basic principles of fiscal responsibility? Absolutely. I was arguing those points during the Bush administration," Snowe said emphatically, "I made those very arguments."
"Congress isn't working right and it's not working well, and I share that frustration and anger. They're angry? So am I," Snowe said as her voice got louder, "I'm angry, because I work here ever day and I want things to be different. I'm here to solve problems to make people happy, not to make them sad and angry," Snowe insisted.
And what does Castle's loss tell Snowe about whether there's a place for moderates like her in the GOP?
"Well there are fewer of us so that goes without saying," Snowe said, but then immediately argued that "we can't be endangered if you want to be a majority party."
"It doesn't stand to reason that the Republican Party would want to exclude moderate Republicans if they want to be a majority party. Those are mutually exclusive propositions," Snowe said.
At times, as the Maine Republican talked about this issue, she became exasperated.
"Ideological purity at 100 percent is a utopian world and I don't know who lives in utopia. I've never lived in utopia," said Snowe.
I asked about the argument her GOP colleague Sen. Jim DeMint made to me a day earlier in his office, that Americans no longer want what he called "mushy" lawmakers in the middle.
"What works in South Carolina and Delaware may not work in Maine. We all have different views. We're independent," Snowe responded, "I can't go back to the people of my state and say, excuse me, I have to be one hundred percent ideologically pure because someone has dictated that from another state. It just wouldn't wash," she said.
The reality is that being part of a shrinking wing of her party is not new for Snowe. She used to be one of many moderate New England Republicans, but the group has dwindled over the past decade after being defeated by Democrats, never mind conservative Republicans.
"I've always been on the outside looking in, in the world I live in. When you're a minority, moderate, New England, woman, Republican woman, you don't get more outside than that. Do you? I'm a minority within a minority," Snowe said laughing, "I've been fighting my whole life."