Even a few weeks ago, it was considered impossible that the Tea Party favorite Christine O'Donnell would win the primary in Delaware. She was long seen as being too far to the right to woo enough votes. On Tuesday, such predictions were consigned to the trash when O'Donnell beat a veteran congressman to secure the Republican nomination in the Delaware race for the US Senate.
The Tea Party movement has won a succession of Republican primaries, with its conservative, anti-establishment candidates. O'Donnell is known for her pro-gun, anti-abortion stance, as well as her belief that is a sin.
In the Delaware primary, O'Donnell got 53 percent of the vote, ousting Mike Castle, a long-standing politician who has represented his party as a state governor and in Congress.
"The people of Delaware have spoken. No more politics as usual," O'Donnell told enthusiastic fans after results came out. "The cause is restoring America."
In the weeks running up to her victory, O'Donnell gained publicity with endorsements from Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice presidential candidate, and the National Rifle Association.
Recent weeks have brought a string of successes for the Tea Party. In another boost to the grassroots movement, Carl Paladino, its candidate in New York, surprised pundits by wining the Republican nomination to run for governor in November.
Thehas enjoyed a comet-like rise since last year. It provides a haven for voters for whom the mainstream Republican Party is not conservative enough, and its popularity is widely attributed to dissatisfaction with US President Barack Obama and frustration with the lackluster US economy. Many observers expect its rise will force the Repubican Party to move further to the right.