Money snub points out Tea Party’s conundrum

Christine O’Donnell, the outspoken GOP candidate for Senate in Delaware, has a money problem.

Her shocking victory in the Delaware Republican primary was a breakthrough for the conservative Tea Party movement that has upended U.S. politics. But while her grassroots fundraising has been more than respectable, O’Donnell’s tense relations with mainstream Republicans have led bigtime donors to quietly shun her.

Their reluctance to open their checkbooks underlines the GOP’s recent tightrope act: The Tea Party’s emergence as a major force has energized the conservative base and bolstered Republican prospects in the Nov. 2 election. But the two camps often don’t see eye to eye — on policy as well as on politicians.

Republicans insist that their problem is not with O’Donnell but rather her lack of competitiveness in the race, even though that may in part reflect her funding issues.

Even the Tea Party Express, the Sacramento, Calif.-based national organization that launched a well-financed, late-stage advertising campaign which helped O’Donnell win her primary race, has dialed back its financial support for her.

The financial snub flies in the face of public expressions of support.



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