When the Weatherford Tea Party conducted a noisy straw poll and rally last week, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger drew only 2.7 percent of the vote.
When Tuesday night was done and Republicans across three counties had voted, Granger was on her way back to Washington with close to 70 percent of the vote.
By all measures, the Tea Parties packed only watered-down punch. Even in two Texas House races where Tea Party and Project 912 groups helped spin the vile lies of well-financed special-interest groups, local incumbents rose like cream atop the cup.
Weatherford Tea Party co-founder Dawn Phillips King couldn't even believe that Granger, a Fort Worth Republican and seven-term incumbent, was drawing 69 percent of the early vote in Parker County and more than 70 percent overall.
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"It's disappointing -- shocking," she said by phone. "Are you sure?"
Granger easily defeated Parker County anti-abortion candidate Mike Brasovan and north Fort Worth wholesale grocer Matthew Kelly.
State Reps. Todd Smith of Euless and Vicki Truitt of Keller, both Northeast Tarrant County natives, were on their way to defeating candidates backed by splinter Tea Parties, one of which openly promoted campaign attacks financed by Midland oil interests and Houston home builders.
Guess that tea wasn't so strong after all.
To read the complete column, visit www.star-telegram.com.