How did Sharron Angle blow an 11-point lead on Harry Reid in seven weeks?
Polls suggest Sen. Harry Reid is now ahead of GOP challenger and 'tea party' favorite Sharron Angle. The GOP is sending reinforcements to beef up Angle's campaign staff.
Just a few weeks ago, Senate majority leader Harry Reid seemed headed for political flameout.Skip to next paragraph
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Nevadans were down on their senior senator, according to the polls. The “tea party” movement was zeroing in on him as representative of all that’s wrong with big-government politics back in Washington. And it looked like any of his likely GOP opponents could beat the four-term incumbent in November.
Shortly after Nevada Republicans chose former state assemblywoman Sharron Angle to run against Reid, the beleaguered Democrat was trailing his opponent by 11 percentage points in a Rasmussen Reports poll of likely Nevada voters.
But things can change in a hurry.
Reid has moved ahead of Ms. Angle in the polls – by as much as seven points in the latest Mason-Dixon Polling & Research survey for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The Angle campaign – with help from an increasingly worried national party – is having to beef up its campaign staff with outside professionals. And Angle is scrambling to change the subject regarding her earlier controversial positions and assertions.
“Reid has gone from being a very heavy underdog to being a slight favorite,” says Ted Jelen, a political scientist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “The fact that Sharron Angle won the primary was a major break for him.”
Meanwhile, Republicans “are growing increasingly frustrated with Sharron Angle and her lackluster campaign … fearing she is jeopardizing what they had long viewed as a sure pickup and costing them a chance to reclaim the majority,” reports CQ Politics.
“While running for election is not rocket science, it does require knowledgeable people, it does require some discipline, and that’s always a struggle for every first-time candidate,” Senator Cornyn told CQ Politics.
“Knowledgeable people” in this case includes Brian Jones, former communications director of the Republican National Committee, dispatched to advise the Angle campaign. Previously, Mr. Jones worked for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign and George W. Bush’s reelection campaign in 2004.