Romney's rise challenges tea party's clout in GOP

Republican presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, speaks at a town-hall style meeting at the American Legion Hall, Friday, Dec. 21, 2007, in Rochester, N.H. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

October 15, 2011 3:37:14 PM PDT
Mitt Romney's early success in the Republican presidential race is challenging the tea party's clout. Will it continue to pull the GOP sharply right? Will it slowly fade? Or merge with mainstream Republican elements in a nod to pragmatism, something it's hardly known for?

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