The Tea Party victory over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was felt across the nation, putting to rest the idea that the Tea Party is dead and giving hope to the Idaho Tea Party for future victories.
The Tea Party has found a home in Idaho, the poster child for the conservative movement in the state being Representative Raul Labrador. But the Gem State still remains in the control of establishment Republicans.
Both Representative Mike Simpson and Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter were challenged by Tea Party candidates. In the governor's race, State Senator Russ Fulcher (R-Meridian) won the three most populated counties in Idaho, but was narrowly defeated by Otter.
On the other hand, Simpson easily defeated challenger Bryan Smith. Political analyst Jasper LiCalzi says the key for Simpson was taking the challenge seriously and runing an agressive campaign.
"You don't see Mike Simpson not being in the district,” he said. “He had a lot of ads on, he worked very hard. He had a lot of groups helping him out, including the Chamber of Commerce and the National Rifle Association, which worked very hard for Mike Simpson."
Despite losing elections, the Tea Party has succeeded to pull the Idaho Republican Party to the right. They have had major victories in changing the party's platform.
How strong the Tea Party presence is today will be seen at the state party convention this weekend. Who is chosen as the party chairman and drafting the platform will reveal how much strength the Tea Party has here.