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English: Ted Cruz at the Republican Leadership...

English: Ted Cruz at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last night, the Texas GOP chose Tea Party-Backed Ted Cruz over David Dewhurst for Senate.  Cruz scored a stunning upset over a longtime Texas state officeholder in a Republican U.S. Senate primary runoff on Tuesday, transforming Cruz into a national conservative star and marking a resurgence of the movement to shrink the size of U.S. government.

Cruz, 41, a former state solicitor general who has never held elected office, became the third insurgent Republican this year to defeat an establishment Republican in a U.S. Senate primary.

He scored a surprisingly comfortable victory with about 56 percent of the vote to about 44 percent for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who a year ago was considered the front-runner.

Cruz’s primary victory follows that of Richard Mourdock, the tea party movement-backed candidate who defeated longtime U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar in the Republican primary in Indiana.

Since Mourdock’s primary win, another Republican primary upset victory occured in Nebraska with rancher Deb Fischer, who beat veteran attorney general Jon Bruning in a U.S. Senate primary.

Many have been saying that the ‘tea party’ movement is dead, but the win by Cruz sends a signal to “moderate Republicans” nationwide, according to Ross Baker, an expert on American politics at Rutgers Universityin New Brunswick, New Jersey.

“Make sure your voting record passes muster with the Tea Party, or you’re in big trouble,” said Baker.