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More Wins for Tea Party Activists

More Wins for Tea Party Activists
More Wins for Tea Party Activists

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This week, in the United States, dissident Republicans succeeded again in defeating more established candidates within their party. Seven states and the nation's capital held primary elections to choose candidates for the November elections.

There were more victories for supporters of the Tea Party movement. This movement centers on cutting taxes and government spending. It brings together conservatives and libertarians -- strong believers in individual liberty.

The name comes from the Boston Tea Party, a colonial tax protest in 1773.

This week, attention centered on the victory of a supporter in the small eastern state of Delaware.

"Don't ever underestimate the power of We the People!"

Christine O'Donnell won the Republican nomination for the Senate seat formerly held by Vice President Joe Biden. Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin supported her. But many people never expected Ms. O'Donnell to defeat Representative Mike Castle. Now, many say she is too conservative to appeal to Democrats and independent voters.

Public opinion surveys show that voters are angry at Congress and unhappy even with their own member of Congress.

Candidates supported by Tea Party activists won primaries earlier this year in Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Nevada and Utah. But the biggest test yet will come when they face Democrats on November second.

Voters will decide all seats in the House of Representatives and 37 of the 100 seats in the Senate. Republicans are fighting to retake Congress from the Democratic Party of President Obama and make gains in state elections.

Peter Brown at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut finds that about one in eight voters support the Tea Party movement. He says the big question is whether the activists will be as successful in getting people to vote in November as in the Republican primaries.

Also this week, the Census Bureau reported that the nation's official poverty rate was 14.03 last year. It rose by just over a full percentage point from 2008.

Almost 44 million people were in poverty, the 3rd year of increase. The number included 1 in 5 children.

The poverty rate was the highest since 1994. But the number of people was the largest since estimates began in 1959.

One-fourth of blacks and Hispanics were in poverty. So were 12.5% of Asians and almost 9.5 % percent of non-Hispanic whites.

A family of four that earned less than about 22,000 dollars last year was considered to be living below the poverty line.

Also, the number of people with health insurance decreased last year -- the first drop since records began in 1987. Almost 17% of the population lacked coverage.

People can lose insurance when they lose their jobs or change to part-time work. The health care law passed by Congress in March aims to get almost every American insured in the coming years.