[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/27/art.tpebus0727.gi.jpg caption =" The Tea Party Express spent nearly $600,000 to help Joe Miller defeater Senator Lisa Murkowski in the Alaska Republican Senate primary."]
(CNN) - Joe Miller's the upset winner of the Republican Senate primary in Alaska, but the Tea Party Express and Sarah Palin are also victorious.
The Tea Party Express, a leading Tea Party organization, endorsed Miller earlier this year and poured nearly $600,000 to help the little known candidate defeat Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a brand name in Alaska. The group says more than two-thirds of the money was spent in the final two weeks of the campaign leading up to the August 24 primary. That included producing and airing TV and radio ads in the state in behalf of Miller in the closing weeks.
Tea Party Express is one of the most recognized national Tea Party organizations thanks to its three high-profile bus caravans and rallies. The group, based in Sacramento, California, has also become a major player in Republican party politics, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads for Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown in Massachusetts, who in January upset Democrat Martha Coakley in a special election to fill the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's seat.
More recently, the organization helped the little-known Sharron Angle win the Republican primary in Nevada, endorsing her and spending about a half-million dollars on ads. Angle now faces off in the general election against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the top Democrat in the chamber.
Tea Party Express, along with other Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations, also targeted incumbent Republican Sen. Bob Bennett in Utah for his vote on the Troubled Assets Relief Program and helped defeat his bid for a fourth term. Tea Party Express then backed underdog Mike Lee's successful primary campaign in Utah and Lee now appears to be heavily favored to win the general election in November and join the Senate next year.
But not all the news has been positive. Earlier this summer, the National Tea Party Federation, which seeks to represent the Tea Party political movement around the country, expelled the Tea Party Express because of an inflammatory blog post one of its leaders, Mark Williams, wrote responding to criticism of the Tea Party movement from the NAACP. The story made national headlines and Williams later stepped down as spokesman for Tea Party Express.
The group is now focusing on Delaware, which holds its primary on September 14. This week Tea Party Express announced it will spending at least $250,000 to go up with commercials in support of Christine O'Donnell, who is facing off against Rep. Mike Castle in the battle for Delaware's GOP Senate nomination.
Castle is a popular nine-term congressman and former two-term governor who's considered much more moderate than O'Donnell, a conservative commentator and marketing consultant who ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 2006 and 2008.
The winner of the primary will face off in November against New Castle County Executive Chris Coons, the presumptive Democratic nominee, in the battle to fill the final four years of Vice President Joe Biden's final term. Biden stepped down from the Senate after his election in November 2008 as vice president. Former Biden aide Ted Kaufman was named as an interim replacement. Kaufman is not running for a full term.
Miller's victory is also a big win for Palin.
In early June, the former Alaska governor and the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, endorsed Miller, putting out statements on her Facebook page and Twitter feed. In backing Miller, Palin said at that time that there was no "feud or bad blood" between herself and Murkoswki, but their differences have been well-documented. Palin captured the governorship in 2006 after defeating then-Gov. Frank Murkowski, Lisa's father, in that year's Republican primary. And when Palin quit as governor last summer, Murkowski said she was "deeply disappointed" and accused Palin of abandoning the state.
In the weekend before the primary, a recording of Palin urging Alaskans to vote for Miller was blasted to Republican voters by robocall across the state.
Many statewide candidates that Palin's endorsed have done quite well in this year's Republican primaries. Miller was one of three Palin-backed state-wide candidates running in the August 24 primaries who went onto victory.
She also endorsed Arizona Sen. John McCain – the former presidential candidate who rocketed Palin to stardom in 2008 when he selected her as his running mate. Though members of the Tea Party movement lined up against the longtime Arizona senator, Palin stayed loyal to McCain and appeared at a campaign event with him in March. Addressing long-standing concern among conservatives McCain is too centrist, Palin said the Arizona senator is driven by "common sense conservative principles" and touted his steadfast opposition to the Obama administration.
McCain beat former Rep. J.D. Hayworth by more than 30 points.
In the race for Florida attorney general, Palin backed Pam Bondi, a Tampa prosecutor who faced the better-known Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp for the job. Palin's endorsement of Bondi came only one week ago and even surprised Bondi herself, who had no advance notice the former Alaska governor would take to her Facebook page to back the campaign. Bondi came out on top in a three candidate field.
But the hat trick of victories followed a string of losses earlier this month by candidates Palin endorsed in statewide Republican primaries. She backed Tea Party activist and former NFL player Clint Didier, who was easily defeated by Dino Rossi for the Senate nomination in Washington State. And Wyoming State Auditor Rita Meyer, who had Palin's backing, narrowly lost her bid for the GOP gubernatorial nomination.
Earlier in the month Palin campaigned in person with former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, who lost a runoff to former Rep. Nathan Deal for the state's Republican nomination for governor.
Palin also endorsed Rep. Todd Tiahrt, who was defeated by Rep. Jerry Moran in the battle for the Senate nomination in Kansas.
Those defeats followed a string of victories for Palin, who earlier in the primary season successfully backed statewide candidates such as Nikki Haley in South Carolina, Terry Branstad in Iowa, and Susana Martinez in New Mexico, who all won gubernatorial nominations, and Carly Fiorina in California and Rand Paul in Kentucky, who captured Senate nominations.
CNN's Alex Mooney and Peter Hamby contributed to this report
Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn