Former Texas solicitor general and Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz did indeed get enough votes in yesterday’s Republican primary to deny Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst 50% of the vote, which means there will have to be a runoff in Texas nine weeks from now. It also means that for the third time in three weeks, a Tea Party candidate has successfully taken on a Republican establishment Senate candidate and either beaten them or, as in this case, forced a runoff.

Earlier this month Richard Mourdock in Indiana beat Dick Lugar, just as had Deb Fischer upset two better-known candidates in Nebraska. And yet the Drive-Bys continue to talk about the death of the Tea Party, the Tea Party’s gone, the Tea Party’s a nonfactor. The Republican establishment talks about the death of the Tea Party all because they don’t see it, except on Election Day. And then they see it, and then they hear it, and then they start cursing. The Tea Party started as a protest movement. And of course you can’t miss a protest movement, people showing up at town hall meetings. They move beyond that now. These are people working at the grassroots to get people elected. And it’s working.

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