In the November 2010 midterm elections, American voters gave the Democrats a historic slap in the face. It was the first time in 70 years that a party controlling the House of Representatives suffered a setback of such proportions. Republican wins in the Senate would give the Democrats far less room to manoeuvre. The Republicans were carried to victory by the wave of the Tea Party. The erstwhile protest movement had swelled into a political force, led by some forty standard bearers, including the newly elected senators Marc Rubio, in Florida, and Rand Paul, in Kentucky. Disinclined to compromise, the newcomers pushed the Republican Party further to the right.