Christine O’Donnell’s win in Delaware made clear to Republicans what many Tea Party activists have been saying all along: Their movement is about more than winning elections. The GOP would have easily picked up a Senate seat if the establishment pick, Mike Castle, had won Tuesday night. O’Donnell’s upset follows a string of Tea Party-backed candidates picking off party favorites in several states; she’s the fourth person the activists have installed who is more ideologically pure, but less likely to win. Typically, parties try to unify after their primaries in order to focus on beating their opponent in the general election. But O’Donnell sparked another round of recriminations, with Karl Rove, looking exasperated, saying she was unelectable, which immediately sparked outrage from Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, and others. That led to an announcement by the National Republican Senatorial Committee—which had been nearly silent on Delaware—that it would give O’Donnell the maximum campaign donation of $42,000.
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