With cash coming in from high-level GOP fundraisers (like a recent event with Sarah Palin) and online money bombs, Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul may be one of few Tea Party candidates to achieve lasting financial success.

At least, that’s what Politico says:

They weren’t the first-choice candidates of the GOP establishment. Many of them come with ideological or personal baggage. Many of them raised little money in their primary.

And on Election Day, the support of fired-up conservative activists just isn’t going to be enough.

For tea party-backed House candidates like Raul Labrador in Idaho, Jesse Kelly in Arizona, Rocky Raczkowski in Michigan and others, the third-quarter fundraising report will be a make-or-break test. If they’ve taken in enough money – or, in some cases, put in enough of their own cash – to stay competitive with Democratic incumbents, they could ride an activist wave all the way to Congress. If they haven’t, the national party is unlikely to come to their rescue.

On the Senate side, some tea party candidates – Kentucky’s Rand Paul chief among them – have proven to be strong fundraisers. Others, like Nevada’s Sharron Angle and Colorado’s Ken Buck, still have something to prove against Democratic opponents who are relying on a lopsided financial playing field.

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