The Tea Party's current power - on a national basis - is shown by the ongoing shutdown of Washington, which neither Democrats nor "establishment" Republican congressmen have been able to end.
Instead, the shutdown - begun by Tea Party-backed members of the House of Representatives to demand "postponement" of the individual mandate of Obamacare for a year (at a time, undoubtably) - continues, with Republican congressmen unwilling to concede. With Democratic congressmen and Pres. Obama unwilling to provide that delay of Obamacare's hated individual mandate - or any other substantial concession - to the Tea Party faction, the shutdown continues and the long-unthinkable possible default by Washington on Treasury paper now is only four days away.
While Democrats and Pres. Obama say that they won't make substantial concessions, the make-or-break moment, of course, is Wednesday night - when default will happen the next day if no deal is agreed to. Mere desperation - born out of no lenders possibly being willing to fund Washington's deficit spending mainly going for Democrats' cherished welfare state - may force major concessions by Democrats then.
Of course, Obamacare has been a major preoccupation of the Tea Party since it first was proposed - as shown by the photo from a June 2010 rally in neighboring Alamance County.