DTMidterm elections 2010: Tea Party poised to storm Washington
Tea Party candidates are poised to storm Washington in the midterm elections, when the conservative movement should win enough seats to form a powerful minority able to push its political agenda.
At least 33 Republicans backed by various Tea Party groups are competing for seats in the House of Representatives that are deemed by pollsters to be safe or "leaning" Republican.
Eight Tea Party candidates are in close races for the Senate, where the Republicans hope to capture a narrow majority by winning ten seats.
If all the movement's senate candidates were successful, they would form a solid grouping in the 100-member chamber that has the final say on major legislation and which has the power of approval of Supreme Court judges and many senior administration officials.
The prospect of a Tea Party triumph in the midterm elections, when all 435 House seats and 37 Senate seats will be contested, demonstrates the movement's remarkable rise in less than two years from a loose coalition of protesters against government spending to a significant political force that is highly likely to stop President Barack Obama and the Democrats in their tracks.