Ted Cruz, left, and David Dewhurst shake hands before their Republican Senate debate in Dallas on June 22.
July 30, 2012 The Republican race to succeed retiring GOP Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison wasn't supposed to be a heated primary battle, but it's become one of the hardest fought and most expensive intraparty races of the year. The runoff should be decided Tuesday.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/157595581/157613396" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
July 30, 2012 The Tea Party is going all out on Tuesday in Texas on behalf of Ted Cruz, a former state solicitor general who is battling Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the GOP Senate primary.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/157307179/157371026" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
June 13, 2012 There were calls for civility last year after a gunman killed six and wounded 13 at an event hosted by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. The election of her successor has commenters renewing that appeal.
Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann and her husband, Marcus, recite the Pledge of Allegiance before announcing her candidacy for president last June in Waterloo, Iowa.
Steve Pope/Getty Images
May 11, 2012 Under assault from conservative blogs and facing some skepticism in Minnesota, where she's up for re-election, Rep. Michele Bachmann wants to give back her just-revealed Swiss citizenship. But apparently it's a status she has enjoyed — at least technically — for three decades.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
April 21, 2012 Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) overcame Tea Party opposition and garnered the majority of votes at the state's Republican convention. He didn't win enough votes to claim the GOP senate nomination outright.
Courting Tea Party voters in Philadelphia on Monday night, Mitt Romney speaks next to a large statue of Benjamin Franklin at the Franklin Institute.
April 17, 2012 At a Tea Party gathering in Philadelphia on Monday night, many in the crowd were only recent converts to Mitt Romney's campaign. Some said a solid Tea Party vice presidential choice would generate real enthusiasm for Romney's cause.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/150795365/150787135" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Mid-South Tea Party member Jan Allen stands by front of the sign-in desk before Thursday's meeting near Memphis.
November 18, 2011 Last night in Tennessee representatives from the Occupy Memphis movement sat down with about 75 members of the Mid-South Tea Party and had what's described as a "sometimes strained and confrontational, but mostly civil discussion."
October 28, 2011 The presidential candidate personally responds to a call for her to drop out, accusing Rick Perry's campaign of a "stealth attack."
Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota speaks at an Americans for Prosperity "Cut Spending Now" rally on Capitol Hill in April. Bachmann built a Tea Party base before launching her White House run.
October 28, 2011 Michele Bachmann has championed the Tea Party, but now one group is telling her to drop her presidential bid.
September 12, 2011 In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, the influence of the Tea Party, and Simon Schama explains what makes a successful memorial. In the second hour, a bill that would speed the process of patenting ideas, and the changing portrayal of men on television.
September 6, 2011 The Teamsters Union leader referred to Tea Party supporters as SOBs and used war rhetoric as he warmed up a crowd for the president Monday in Detroit.
August 17, 2011 Score one for Obama. It's good to see a president who's willing meet his grass-roots critics. Of course, the question is would he as willing if he had a 65 percent public approval rating. And score one for the Tea Party activists who weren't so cowered by the aura that surrounds a president as to decide in the end to just settle for a handshake. That's what democracy looks like.
Standard & Poor's downgrade of the U.S. credit rating Friday will play a role in President Obama's political future.
August 5, 2011 The downgrade by Standard & Poor's is guaranteed to become a major piece of evidence used by Obama's political opponents against him, as they make the case that he has failed to lead the nation and should not be rewarded with a second term.
August 1, 2011 Maybe Obama could get re-elected with a default under his belt. But it certainly would've increased the already considerable challenges facing him because of high unemployment, housing foreclosures and other spurs to economic anxiety.
July 28, 2011 ANALYSIS: It should go without saying, this is a signal setback for the speaker, who in recent days had pleaded, cajoled and demanded that his conference get behind him if, for no other reason, to show solidarity as he confronts the Democrats who control the Senate and the White House.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor