If the 2010 Republican sweep of the House signaled the rise of the Tea Party movement, then the 2012 elections cemented the movement’s momentum despite several key losses, said scholars and Tea Party leaders. Tea Party-backed candidates lost to Democrats in Indiana and Missouri, among other states, forsaking Republican chances of taking control of the Senate. But their mantra of uncompromising fiscal conservatism and limited government will echo beyond this election cycle, continuing to threaten the political careers of Republicans who dare stray from the agenda or reach across the aisle, say scholars and Tea Party leaders.
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