Just across the state border in Virginia, a special gubernatorial election today may signal whether tea party extremists will continue to dominate the Republican Party.
Last spring, Virginia's GOP was ready to hold a primary and presumably nominate a moderate Republican for governor. But tea party zealots forced the GOP to hold a convention instead. Then they dominated the convention and chose two far-right figures.
For governor, they picked Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli, a radical who wants to recriminalize gay sex (even though the U.S. Supreme Court has declared it legal) -- and wants to ban the pill and other forms of birth control -- and wants to pass a "personhood" law saying every fertilized egg is a human person, therefore abortion would be murder.
For lieutenant-governor, they chose E.W. Jackson, who says gays are "very sick people" whose "minds are perverted" -- and who says Planned Parenthood has been worse for blacks than the Ku Klux Klan -- and who says non-Christians practice "some sort of false religion."
If this right-wing pair prevails in today's voting, it will be a tea party triumph -- but most observers predict victory for Terry McAuliffe, former national Democratic chairman. Experts say the tea party mentality is fading rapidly across America.
Watch the Virginia election returns tonight for an indicator of the political tide.