TheDC Election Outlook: The latest buzz in the Tea Party races

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Of the midterm races with interesting Tea Party components, here’s the latest buzz with two more weeks to go until election day:

Buck didn’t leave Meet the Press without his mug

As Weld County district attorney, Ken Buck may be used to arguing a case before a jury.

But as the GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate in Colorado appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, Buck didn’t hide his nerves.

“I gotta tell ya, I was a little nervous being on Meet the Press,” he said to laughter, telling reporters he’s proudly taking home his coffee mug from the show.

Most reports coming out of the debate centered on how Buck, a Tea Party-backed Republican, said homosexuality is a choice. He told reporters afterwards that he expects Democrats to use his answer against him. “There’s no doubt there will probably be a commercial on something like that,” he said.

Most polls show Buck leading by several points, though a Rasmussen poll released Saturday shows a virtually tied race, with Buck leading 47 percent to Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet’s 45 percent.

Allen West says NBC News did “hatchet job” on him

Allen West, a Tea Party-backed black Republican running for the U.S. House in Florida, is calling a NBC Nightly News report questioning whether he has ties to biker gang the Outlaws a “political hatchet job.”

Watch the original NBC news report here.

“In what can only be described as a political hatchet job by the liberal mainstream media, NBC News — through reporter Lisa Myers —made an outrageous claim that LTC(R) Allen West condones criminal activity,” the West campaign said in a statement. “Myers clearly has an agenda to try and stop good people like Allen who oppose the far left policies that are wreaking havoc upon our country.”

West is challenging Democrat Rep. Ron Klein. The two face-off in a debate Monday night.

Joe Miller brings in the dough

The Miami-Herald reports: “Republican Joe Miller’s primary upset of Sen. Lisa Murkowski helped the tea party-backed candidate raise $1.17 million over the past two months, more money than his two opponents combined during the same period.”

The Real Clear Politics average of the race shows Miller with a slight edge over write-in candidate Lisa Murkowski. Democrat Scott McAdams is also running.

Affairs resurface in South Carolina’s governor’s race

The two men who claimed they had extramarital affairs with the Sarah Palin-backed Nikki Haley, a Republican running for governor in South Carolina, have signed affidavits saying the trysts happened. Haley has denied both accusations.

A Winthrop University poll shows Haley leading Democrat Vincent Sheheen by nine points, significantly down from polls conducted since the primary.

Meanwhile, The Daily Caller ran into Haley at the Clemson football game, where she spoke about her husband.

“This is coming home,” Haley told TheDC’s Paul Conner. “My husband and I met our first weekend at Clemson, and we got engaged in the botanical garden. This is where we spent some of the best years of our lives, so we love being back home.”
Meghan McCain jabs Christine O’Donnell

Republican Sen. John McCain’s daughter, Meghan, made her debut on ABC’s “This Week” by offering a harsh critique of Delaware Republican U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell.

“Christine O’Donnell is making a mockery of running for public office,” McCain said. “She has no real history, no real success in any kind of business.”

Also, Tea Party voters nationwide say, according to a survey released by the Sam Adams Alliance of 118 Tea Party activists, that O’Donnell is their least favorite of the well-known Tea Party candidates. Florida GOP Senate nominee Marco Rubio came in first as the favorite Tea Party candidate of Tea Party activists this election cycle.

O’Donnell trails her Democratic opponent, New Castle County Executive Chris Coons, 40 percent to Coons’ 51 percent, in the latest Rasmussen poll.