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Contract from America: 'tea party' crafts its election manifesto

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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the architect of the first contract, told a conservative conference in New Hampshire this weekend: “The idea is to go out to the whole country and say, ‘What would you have in a contract with America to politicians?’ It’s a very interesting idea.”

After playing a role in Republican victories in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, the tea party movement still presents a challenge for incumbent Republicans as much as it does for Democrats.

Many tea partyers are politically to the right of the average Republican and most have little party loyalty. As Politico points out, “Republicans who paint tea partyers as a fringe group risk primary challenges, while those who embrace the group risk drifting too far rightward to win a general election.”

Tea party infighting

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