In the wake of Rand Paul's lopsided victory in the Kentucky U.S Senate primary last week and thanks to the lucky timing of the State Supreme Court hearing the case regarding the effort to recall U.S Senator Robert Menendez, the Tea Party movement has caught the attention of New Jersey's main stream media.
In CD-6, Anna Little is the beneficiary.
Sunday's Asbury Park Press article, Will Tea Party tilt the primaries didn't even mention Little's primary opponent:
In the 6th District, which extends from the northern part of the Shore up into New Brunswick, Somerville, Edison and Plainfield, Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., is being challenged by Republican Tea Partier Anna Little, mayor of Highlands, who blames the federal government for ruining the economy and for ignoring the Constitution on a variety of fronts.
Yesterday in the Star Ledger, Little was declared New Jersey's Tea Party darling:
Jeffrey Weingarten, another tea party activist, thinks Highlands Mayor Anna Little will upset millionaire newspaper publisher Diane Gooch in the 6th congressional district. Gooch has the Republican organization behind her. But Little, the underdog, has built up a base of tea party supporters.
"She has tapped into the tea party energy," Weingarten said. "You can say she’s a tea party darling."
With the primary election two weeks away, the main stream media is now likely to focus on this race. Reporters will start reading the press releases both campaigns send out that so far only bloggers have given any attention.
The marathon race is coming down to a sprint to the finish. Little is likely to get favorable free media to augment her one piece of mail and radio commercials. Gooch will have TV ads that start with her in the dark and end with her giggling. She will probably have at least one more piece of mail. Anna's passionate Tea Party militia will be knocking on doors, putting up signs and making phone calls from home. Gooch will pay "volunteers" to knock on doors while dispassionate party faithful man phone banks from party headquarters.
History favors Gooch, as "off year" primaries are traditionally low turnout "down the line" exercises by traditionalists doing their civic duty. Media buzz, Tea Party passion and Little's quiet support within the ranks of party regulars could make this race a nail biter.