With talk of the tea party's demise
swirling after the defeat of its candidates Tuesday in Virginia and Alabama, at least one person on Capitol Hill isn't buying it: Rep. Steve King.
"The tea party is stronger in some states and weaker in others," King, R-Iowa, said Wednesday on CNN's "Out Front with Erin Burnett."
"A month ago they were accused of having the power to shut down
the entire United States federal government," King said. "And today they're talking about the death of the tea party. I think it's a little bit premature to say that."
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King said he was disappointed to see Republican Ken Cuccinelli fall short in the Virginia governor's race
, but he said Cuccinelli scored at least a "moral victory" because at one point he was down in the polls by double digits. He ended up losing to Democrat Terry McAuliffe by only 3 percentage points.
Republicans will fare best nationally, King said, with a "constitutional conservative" candidate who fits across the spectrum. He suggested that someone who supports the economic agenda of the establishment wing and the low-tax, social agenda, libertarian thinking of the conservative wing will have the best chance.
"They're the ones that are going to prevail," King said, "if they have the personal magnetism, like a Chris Christie."
Christie won re-election in largely Democratic New Jersey on Tuesday, taking 60 percent of the vote.
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