Mo. GOP hopeful of rebounding in 2010 elections

ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Republicans have newfound hope for big election victories this year. Republicans were somewhat somber last year after losing the White House and most of Missouri's statewide offices.

But Republicans were far more upbeat this weekend at their annual Missouri Lincoln Days Conference in St. Charles. Part of their hope rests with tapping into the "tea party" angst over federal spending, debt and government intrusion.

Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder says the party's challenge will be to persuade frustrated voters to back Republicans instead of third-party or independent candidates. By coincidence, the St. Louis tea party movement was holding its own rally Saturday under the Gateway Arch - just 20 miles east of the Republican conference.

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