I also don’t think this is about a senate seat so much as it is about the Tea Party trying to overthrow the Republican establishment in all its forms. Even if O’Donnell wins in the primary and loses in the general, it sends a message to the GOP establishment; you have to deal with US, now.
It’s a high-risk, high-reward strategy. If the tea party candidates win in November, they own the party. If they lose, the moderates will claim vindication and try to to exile the Tea Party right. Since the Tea Party is about ideology and not power, this will split the GOP, perhaps mortally.
I’m not as worked up about this race as some are, but doesn’t it strike you that the GOP establishment is an ugly mood? Robert Bennett lost. Sue Lowden lost. Rob Simmons lost. Jane Norton lost. Lisa Murkowski lost. The ugliness of the attacks against O’Donnell… who *is* a trainwreck, I have to make that clear… is a function of the desperation of the GOP establishment.