Tea party activists vow to hold GOP feet to fire

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Some speakers urged the tea party faithful to focus their energy on booting Mr. Obama from the White House and regaining GOP control of the Senate. Democrats will defend 23 Senate seats in 2012, including a pair held by independents, while just 10 Republican-held seats are on the line.

Tim Duvall, who runs a medical-device company in Walnut Creek, Calif., said he is willing to cut the new crew some slack.

“We didn’t get into this mess overnight,” Mr. Duvall said. “You don’t reverse direction or change it in 60 to 90 days.”

Others aren’t as patient. Steven Blank, retired from his machine and welding business, helps vet candidates for his local tea party group at home in Manistee, Mich. He said principles - and not party label - matter most.

“If they’re not living up to the expectations of the tea party people, they will be eliminated one by one,” Mr. Blank said.

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