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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Doubters who thought the tea party would fade away can forget it. More than 70 of its favored candidates are on Nov. 2 ballots, and nearly three dozen are locked in competitive House races, according to a state-by-state analysis by The Associated Press.
From the hundreds of conservative activists who took up the cause in races this year, these candidates — mostly Republicans — emerged to capture nominations and are running with the support of loosely organized tea party groups that are furious at the government.
Some of the candidates are political newcomers who have struggled to organize and raise money and have little chance of winning election. In some states, tea party groups have been divided over whether to even back candidates or become active in campaigns.
But about 35 candidates appear to be waging campaigns that have put them ahead or within striking distance of their opponents, according to the AP analysis.
Candidates with tea party ties are favored to win in Republican-leaning districts in Indiana and South Carolina. Several are running strong in rural districts in the West and the suburbs of several major cities. Three candidates aligned with the tea party are in tight races in Michigan, which has the second highest unemployment rate in the nation at 13.1 percent.
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