Now that Tea Party-backed candidates like Mike Lee and Rand Paul have captured their party’s nomination, they face the daunting task of making themselves more palatable to the general electorate while still pleasing their ideological base.
CNN says those candidates dance on a razor’s edge trying to bridge the two worlds.
"The old, cynical conventional wisdom in politics is that in the Republican Party, you run to the right to win the nomination and then you run to the center to win the general election, and the opposite is true for the Democratic Party," said John Avlon, author of "Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America."
"What's going to be challenging is that the Tea Partiers ran as ideological warriors attacking the establishment with a refusal to compromise on their principle. ... That makes any pragmatic move to the center a lot more complicated for them to do with any credibility," he said.
Utah’s Mike Lee should have an easier time since the state is solidly Republican. But Nevada’s Sharron Angle is struggling. After winning her party’s nomination, she re-vamped her website, removing some of her more controversial positions. Her Democratic opponent Harry Reid has re-posted the original website despite a “cease and desist” letter from Angle’s campaign.
Rand Paul in Kentucky is also facing some backlash. He upset some of his campaign supporters after attending a fundraiser in Washington, D.C. with some lawmakers who voted in favor of the TARP program.