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Menendez Doubts Tea Partiers Can Appeal to Mainstream

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (N.J.) predicted Sunday that top tea party candidates will fall short in the November midterm elections.

Republican activists are heading into Election Day 2010 with their choice of candidates in three states. In Nevada, former state Assemblywoman Sharron Angle will face Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D), while open-seat contests will feature former state legislator Marco Rubio in Florida and ophthalmologist Rand Paul in Kentucky.

“There’s going to be a clear choice,” Menendez said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “They’re out of the mainstream in their states.”

Although he did not endorse their bids ahead of their party’s nomination contests, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) said the GOP establishment is “proud to support all three individuals.”

“We want the candidates who can win, and the candidates who can win are the ones who won the primaries,” he said. “They want to take the country back, and I say more power to them.”

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