But the results turned out to be less clear cut and more ambiguous than that template.
In Pennsylvania, Sen. Arlen Specter, 80 and running for a sixth term, not only risked voter fatigue but was fatally candid about his decision to switch loyalties from Republican to Democrat. "My change in party will enable me to get re-elected," he said in ducking a challenge from a Republican who almost knocked him off six years ago.
He was defeated for the Democratic nomination by Rep. Joe Sestak. As a sitting member of Congress, a retired Navy admiral and a former defense adviser in the Clinton White House he clearly qualifies as both of Washington and of the establishment.
In a special election in Pennsylvania for the seat of legendary ear marker John Murtha that the Republicans thought they had a good chance of picking up, former Murtha staff member Mark Critz boasted of his Washington connections and familiarity with its folkways and handily beat Republican Tim Burns, who styled himself a "Washington outsider" and boasted of his origins in the Tea Party movement.
In Arkansas, liberal Sen. Blanche Lincoln was forced into a June 8 runoff for the Democratic nomination but her opponent hardly fits the Tea Party model. He is the even more liberal Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, who benefited from the support and deep pockets of organized labor and ran to Lincoln's left.
In Kentucky, however, the Republican primary for U.S. Senate convincingly fit the anti-Washington, anti-establishment mold. Libertarian Rand Paul, a career doctor, not a politician as he regularly points out, crushed Secretary of State Trey Grayson, the candidate of the Republican establishment and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell.
The general election will be an interesting test of Paul's plans to balance the budget by massive spending cuts and to greatly curtail the powers of the federal government. Paul has a message for Washington, "a message from the Tea Party. A message that is loud and clear and does not mince words: We've come to take our government back."
The theme of distance from Washington, the establishment and the party leadership has an inherent contradiction. The candidates struggle mightily to convince the voters to send them to Washington. Once there, they are automatically the establishment. And over time they will become their party's leaders.