During the debt-ceiling debate, one prominent pundit said Tea Party members of Congress of "[held] the nation hostage" by refusing to compromise. A Wall Street Journal poll showed negative views of the Tea Party doubled between January and July. So how much influence will it have in next year's election? Last night, CNN made Tea Party groups co-sponsors of a two-hour, prime-time debate between Republican presidential candidates. Before the debate, the cable-news outlet worked with Tea Party groups to recruit the audience and ask some of the questions. Who's in the Tea Party? How have they changed Congress? How did they change the shape of a contest that still hasn't settled down?
Websites of Republican presidential candidates: