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Tags: Sharron Angle

No Special-Election Bid for Sharron Angle After All



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Sharron Angle has dropped out of the special U.S. House race in Nevada’s 2nd congressional district. She says she may consider another run for the seat or another office in the future.

At this point, the “candidacy” of all of the Republicans wishing to represent this district is somewhat moot, as the nominee will be selected by the state GOP’s central committee, although the court ruling that threw out the rules from the Nevada secretary of state and set up these rules is certain to be challenged in the Nevada Supreme Court.

Perhaps an early indicator that Angle’s bid was unlikely to go the distance was that her web site had no updates from the initial announcement of the candidacy.

Race summary here.

Tags: Sharron Angle

No Free-for-All Election in Nevada, for Now



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Remember that extraordinarily complicated and messy situation in the special House election in Nevada’s 2nd congressional district, where the Democratic secretary of state ruled that there would be no primaries, and anyone who filed the right paperwork would appear on the ballot? Republicans were and are nervous, because they had at least four candidates with significant bases of support, and the Democrats only had three (with one better known than the others). Under the winner-take-all, “free-for-all” election system, the fear was that the Democrats could eke out a win in an R+5 district.

Now a judge has scrapped the system, and directed the state parties to pick nominees:

In a ruling from the bench after two hours of oral arguments Thursday, [Carson District Judge James] Russell said state law was confusing, but he was concerned the rules set down by Democratic Secretary of State Ross Miller that would have allowed a free-for-all election amounted to “picking and choosing” different provisions of statutes.

Russell, who joked during the hearing that his decision was bound to be appealed to the state Supreme Court, set in motion a process where the central committees of the Nevada Democrats and Republicans will select their lone nominee during central committee meeting next month.

The Republicans have scheduled their central committee meeting for June 18 in Sparks while the Democrats will meet June 25 in Tonopah.

Nevada’s minor parties will select their representatives by a meeting of their executive councils, Russell ruled. Non-partisan candidates will need at least 100 signatures to qualify for the ballot.

If this ruling is upheld by the state supreme court, it would, on paper, improve the GOP’s chances. I say on paper, because whoever the GOP central committee picks, there are going to be three other candidates who will be anything from disgruntled to furious.

To refresh your memory, the Big Four on the GOP side:

On the Republican side, the biggest name is probably former state assemblywoman Sharron Angle, known nationally for her very well-funded Senate bid against Harry Reid last year. Angle raised $27 million and led in many pre-election polls, but she finished with only 45 percent of the vote.

Angle will face one of her former primary foes in state senator Greg Brower, a former U.S. attorney. Brower served two terms in the assembly before losing in the 2001 primary to Angle. Earlier this year, the Washoe County Commission appointed Brower to serve out the final two years of the term of state senator Bill Raggio, who had retired citing health problems.

One GOP candidate with a unique biography is Kirk Lippold, a retired Navy commander who piloted the USS Cole when it was attacked in Yemen by al-Qaeda in October 2000…

Nevada Republican party chairman, former Army JAG officer, and former assistant United States attorney Mark Amodei also is running.

Of course, the state supreme court could overrule this decision . . .

Tags: Greg Brower , Kirk Lippold , Mark Amodei , Sharron Angle

The Messy Free-for-All in Nevada’s 2nd District



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Over on the home page, I take a look at the free-for-all that is emerging in the special House election scheduled for September 13 in Nevada’s 2nd congressional district. (Rep. Dean Heller, the former incumbent, is now a U.S. senator.) There will be no party primary; the ballot will be open to anyone with 100 signatures. While the vast district is generally Republican-leaning, there are at least four major GOP candidates: former state assemblywoman and Senate candidate Sharron Angle, state senator Greg Brower, former U.S.S. Cole commander Kirk Lippold, and Nevada Republican-party chairman Mark Amodei.

At this point, only three Democrats are running, and state treasurer Kate Marshall appears to be the best-known. Whoever gets the most votes wins, so it is quite possible that a Democrat could win the seat.

With no primary scheduled, and the obvious problems of the state party somehow unilaterally appointing its nominee (COUGHscozzafavaCOUGH), the GOP needs its voters in this district to coalesce behind a candidate. But which one and how?

Tags: Dean Heller , Greg Brower , Kirk Lippold , Mark Amodei , Sharron Angle

Sharron Angle’s Back, and She’s Running for Congress



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Are you ready for Sharron Angle for Congress? Because here she comes!

Under the current district lines, Nevada’s 2nd district is the most GOP-leaning in the state. However, the district lines will almost certainly change, as Nevada is gaining a congressional seat starting in 2012.

Tags: Sharron Angle

Sharron Angle: ‘Finger-pointing towards political figures is an audience-rating game and contradicts the facts.’



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Former Senate candidate and Nevada state legislator Sharron Angle issued a statement, also posted to her Facebook page:

“My thoughts and prayers go out to all those suffering from the horrible act of violence in Arizona. I pray for the families of those lost and injured to receive all the support they need at this difficult hour.”

Sharron Angle has been criticized for her strong support of constitutional rights, especially the Second Amendment. She spoke from California where she is caring for her 88 year old father, “I condemn all acts of violence. The despicable act in Tucson is a horrifying and senseless tragedy, and should be condemned as a single act of violence, by a single unstable individual.

“Expanding the context of the attack to blame and to infringe upon the people’s Constitutional liberties is both dangerous and ignorant. The irresponsible assignment of blame to me, Sarah Palin or the TEA Party movement by commentators and elected officials puts all who gather to redress grievances in danger.”

“Finger-pointing towards political figures is an audience-rating game and contradicts the facts as they are known — that the shooter was obsessed with his twisted plans long before the TEA Party movement began. I have consistently called for reasonable political dialogue on policy issues to encourage civil political education and debate. Inappropriately attributing blame of a singular tragedy to achieve a political agenda is contrary to civil discourse, and is a media ploy to which I refuse to belong.”

Tags: Sharron Angle

Can Tea Party Candidates Win Statewide in Swing States?



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At some point, the question of GOP statewide candidates and the Tea Party style will have to be hashed out; Jonah touches on this a bit in the Corner in discussing Pete Spiliakos’s concept of “RightWorld Provincial.”

When Sharron Angle was in the Nevada state legislature, she was the most conservative lawmaker in the state. Nevada is not a deeply conservative state; with Bush winning it twice and Obama winning it once, and a split Senate and House delegation, it is a classic “purple” state. It is exceptionally rare to see purple states electing the most conservative lawmaker in the state to statewide office. In this light, Angle and her team are to be saluted for doing as well as they did.

Was Ken Buck too conservative for Colorado? Perhaps; it too is a classic purple state: won by Bush twice and Obama once, two Democratic senators, Democratic governor, divided House delegation. Republicans dominated the state’s politics in the first half of the past decade; Democrats, the second half.

Carly Fiorina’s defeat in California, by a wider margin than many expected, proves that sometimes you can have an “establishment” candidate who stumbles and falls, too. We can argue whether Dino Rossi or Linda McMahon fit the definition of “Tea Party” candidates, and acknowledge that the Tea Parties explicitly seek to build a better and more principled political movement, not just a winning one.

But if Republicans want to win Senate seats, they need their primary voters to have a sense of how conservative a candidate they can nominate and still win. In Kentucky, you can nominate a Rand Paul. In Utah, you can replace a Bob Bennett with a Mike Lee and still win handily. In South Carolina, Republicans will be able to nominate someone much more conservative than Lindsey Graham in 2014.

But in other states, particularly the blue Northeast and West Coast, Republicans are probably not going to win statewide races with candidates who stir the hearts of Tea Partiers. (Remember, Chris Christie was allegedly the “establishment moderate” in the New Jersey governor’s primary.)

You can sense where this is headed, right?

Delaware is a dark-blue state. It scores D+7 in the Cook Partisan Voting Index, it has a Democratic governor who won by 36 points and another Democratic senator who won by 50 points in 2006, and Democrats control the state senate and state house. The last Republican besides Mike Castle to win a big statewide race was Bill Roth in 1994; the last Republican besides Mike Castle to win the governorship was Pete du Pont in 1980.

If somebody wants to argue that Mike Castle was too much of a squish for them to support, that’s fine — I can’t begrudge someone making cap-and-trade their line in the sand — but what was particularly troubling during the whole primary fight was the number of conservatives, including some I really admire and respect, pretending that a conservative firebrand had a serious possibility of being elected in this state. Even in a big Republican wave year, Christine O’Donnell never had a chance. Out of respect for her and her supporters (and my readers who were big fans of her), I didn’t beat this drum during the general election. But now that the votes have been cast and counted, and the result is a 16-point margin of victory for Coons, it is time to look clearly at political realities.

O’Donnell had a few shining moments as a candidate, and got a raw deal in much of the coverage. But in the end, this state’s current electorate would never elect the kind of Republican who would score . . . oh, 80 to 100 in the ACU ratings, as O’Donnell almost certainly would. The realistic options were either the guy with the lifetime 52 ACU rating (Castle) or the guy who will probably have the 10 ACU rating (Senator-elect Coons).

In 2012, Republicans will need challengers for Senate races in Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, and California, as well as friendlier territory. In these blue states, perhaps they will discover a staunch conservative who can win over independents by sheer charisma. (I support human cloning of Marco Rubio.) But more likely, for a Republican to win in these states, they’ll need a challenger who can emphasize some Tea Party points while still strongly appealing to independents and deviating from the party line periodically. The template would seem to be Scott Brown or Chris Christie, but perhaps Paul LePage, the new Republican governor of Maine, is another example . . .

UPDATE: One of my readers, a Republican in Delaware who’s plugged into state GOP circles, offers these thoughts:

My assessment is that only three states in the nation did not experience some benefit of the “wave” on Tuesday – California, Hawaii, and Delaware.  Even New York picked up unanticipated congressional seats and out-performed in other congressional races; and clearly without any help from the top of the ticket.  The two congressional losses in Connecticut were a disappointment, but as of this writing, the GOP candidate for Governor may yet win.  So the states and regions varied from a ripple to a tsunami.

[Note from Jim: Massachusetts readers are probably lamenting that they feel on par with California, Hawaii, and Delaware.]

As to Delaware, as I feared, Christine O’Donnell not only lost badly to Coons, she precipitated a down-ballot disaster for the GOP, an outcome that would never have occurred with Castle running for, and likely winning, the U.S. Senate seat.  O’Donnell claimed on Tuesday night that she forever changed the Republican Party in Delaware and she is right: she has put the GOP on life support, transitioning Delaware from dark blue to navy blue.  O’Donnell’s negative coattails were as follows:  State Senator Colin Bonini, a genuine conservative running for state Treasurer, had counted on Castle being at the top of the ticket – as did all House and Senate challengers throughout the state.  Bonini lost 51-49.  Our GOP state auditor, Tom Wagner, barely held on by 0.5 percent and may yet face a recount.  In the State House of Representatives, the GOP needed a net gain of 5 sets to flip the chamber back to the GOP (held by the Ds 24-17).  The GOP had held the House chamber since Pete du Pont’s days as Governor until the Obama-Biden landslide of 2008.  Instead of gaining seats on Tuesday, the GOP lost additional seats, giving the House a liberal veto-proof majority over a Democratic governor.  GOP challengers in Brandywine Hundred, the most Republican suburbs of New Castle County, went down to defeat in two races that were deemed an easy flip.  In one seat held by a freshman GOP House member won in a special election in December 2008 in a slightly more challenging suburban district, this GOP incumbent was defeated in the Democratic tide.  In other areas of New Castle County, polished and well-recruited GOP challengers in the Newark and Middletown suburbs lost by 2-1 or worse.  In Kent County, a Democratic member arrested for DUI in mid-October, who was expected to lose by partisans on both sides, was re-elected.

The GOP base obviously had its issues with Mike Castle, culminating with the congressman’s cap-and-trade vote in 2009, but this was the wrong moment to punish Castle: cutting off their nose to spite their face.  Not only were the in-state consequences horrifying, Delaware threw away a senator who would have been #1 in seniority among the freshman class, given his 9 terms in the House, his former governorship, and his immediate swearing-in to fill the Biden vacancy.  In addition to losing a GOP seat in the United States Senate and giving the Delaware GOP some badly-needed life to continue a rebuilding process, we are left with ashes.  We burned down the village to save it.  Moreover, Castle was only going to serve the remaining 4 years of the Biden vacancy and then retire.  At least the GOP would have had the opportunity to groom a successor from a growing conservative bench.  We now have nothing – zip, zero, nada.

That is not to say that Castle wasn’t warned of what was coming: according to the Weekly Standard, NRSC officials pleaded with Castle to get back to his base, take off the $600 suits, and win the GOP primary fair and square.  He had more than adequate warning, with conservative victories on the march from Nevada to Colorado to Alaska – just weeks before the late Delaware primary.  If Fred Barnes is correct, Castle refused the advice of the NRSC and badly mishandled the O’Donnell threat.

However, in the final analysis I do not understand the logic of demanding ideological purity when the choices are as follows: a near-guaranteed win for someone who agrees with you 60% of the time; or taking a long-shot risk with someone who agrees with you 100% of the time.  Instead we got, perhaps for life, a new senator who agrees with us zero percent of the time.  Castle has been wrong on environmental issues for years.  So be it.  You take the good with the bad in this business.  Cap-and-trade wasn’t going to be enacted with a GOP Senate majority in any case.  We accomplish nothing if we are out of power.  Moreover, Castle wanted to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, cut spending, repeal and replace Obamacare, and strengthen national defense.  This is a good start for me.  Senator-elect Coons shares none of these objectives.

I am not pleased or impressed with Palin’s track record this cycle: she has proven that she cannot carry water in her own state; and she, Levin, Hannity and DeMint made a serious miscalculation in Delaware.  Palin’s lame explanation that Castle would not have necessarily won the seat and that it was “worth a shot” is not only wrong, but it further demonstrates that she is not worthy of being the GOP standard bearer in 2012.  Everyone recognizes that the Tea Party movement has been a tremendous asset to the GOP and that the two institutions can work together to rebuild a center-right coalition for the foreseeable future.  But the Tea Party types must recognize that there are limits to which an electorate will move in blue states, and that you must nominate, in Bill Buckley’s theorem, the most electable conservative. 

And, ultimately, candidate quality counts – particularly to independent voters.  O’Donnell, Buck, and Angle were not ready for prime-time and the scrutiny that accompanies conservative candidates in races of this magnitude.  Is this fair to GOP conservatives? No.  But it is reality.

Tags: Christine O'Donnell , Ken Buck , Mike Castle , Sharron Angle

Another ‘Wow’ Poll in a Competitive House District, This Time Nevada



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I mentioned this on Twitter this morning, but if the latest Mason-Dixon poll is accurate, and Republican Joe Heck really does beat incumbent Democrat Dina Titus by 10 points in a district that includes roughly a third of Nevada’s voters, it would be hard to imagine a scenario in which Harry Reid wins that state’s Senate race. When a D+2 district shifts that heavily towards a Republican . . . perhaps there will be some ticket-splitting going on, but it would seem to point to a general anti-Democrat/anti-incumbent mood.

Tags: Dina Titus , Harry Reid , Joe Heck , Sharron Angle

Is Harry Reid Toast?



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Number-Cruncher takes a look at Rasmussen’s latest in Nevada and comes to some ebullient and confident conclusions:

This race is over.

Angle being up 49-45 is a nice number but check out the voting tabs in Rasmussen ( from the premium side). Rasmussen’s voting tabs are 35-R, 39-D, and 26-I (D+4).  In looking at past exits the voting cross-tabs are:

2004 (Good GOP Year) 39-R-36-D-25I, (R+3)

2006 (Strong GOP Candidate in a Dem year) 40R-33-D-27-I (R+7)

In other words in a presidential election (in a very close race), the difference was +3R; that’s a 7 point swing!  In 2006, which while a good year for Dems, the Republicans had a solid incumbent (and the Democrats ran a Carter) the cross-tabs favored the GOP 40-33-27 (+7) which is an 11 point swing from what Rasmussen sampled.

I have begun looking at Rasmussen’s cross-tabs, and have found that his polling does not favor the GOP, and in fact might be underestimating support. I think the reason for this is the Tea Party/GOP affiliation disconnect.  Simply stated, those who go to the polls will be far more conservative in 2010 than 2004.  If this is where we are on Tuesday, this one won’t be close! To me this looks more like a 55-45 blowout!

Number-Cruncher’s a little too confident for my blood. I think a lot of Nevadans have nagging doubts about Angle. Having said that, take a look at Reid’s share of the vote in polls this month: 45, 47, 46, 48, 46, 47, 47, 46, 40, 46. That’s just above toasty. I think Reid gets about one or two more percentage points beyond his current RCP average of 45.7 (this was pretty much how Corzine did, and how I predicted Martha Coakley’s total on the nose). A 46.7 or 47.7 probably isn’t enough to win, unless “none of the above” or some third-party candidate does uncharacteristically well.

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

Today’s Target for Campaign Help: GOP Senate Candidates.



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A Long Island reader writes in, “We really need some up-front and easy-to-follow links for contributing to the campaigns of folks like Joe Miller, Carly Fiorina, Sharron Angle, and Christine O’Donnell, etc., etc. You’d think these links would be front and center, but generally it’s catch-as-catch-can.”

Here you go:

I think Marco Rubio in Florida is doing all right, and Linda McMahon in Connecticut can obviously self-fund, but there are the links, just in case. I feel similarly confident about Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, Rand Paul in Kentucky, and in fact Mark Kirk in Illinois. (All of those campaigns will now write in saying “Hey, we can always use more donations, pal!”)

Tags: Carly Fiorina , Christine O'Donnell , Joe Miller , Pat Toomey , Sharron Angle

A Missed Opportunity for ‘Hidin’ at the Ritz’!



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I see the NRSC puts out an ad on Harry Reid entitled “Ritz” . . . and I’m just so, so so disappointed there’s no Taco soundtrack.

If you’re Reid and your polls have begun to bleed, sitting scared out of your wits . . . Hidin’ at the Ritz!

High VATs and SEIU hollers, Democrats and lots of dollars

Spending every dime, for a wonderful time!

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

So Much For Outspending Sharron Angle



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Over on Battle 10, we see news indicating Harry Reid’s “Let’s outspend her and destroy her with attack ads” strategy just took a big hit.

Spokesperson Jarrod Agen has just released Sharron Angle’s stunning third-quarter fundraisingresults to Battle ‘10.

Angle raised $14 million in the most recent cycle.

Of course, knowing Harry Reid, he will probably cite the runaway fund-raising success of Angle as a sign of economic recovery.

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

Rasmussen: Angle 50, Reid 46



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Rasmussen sees a little movement:

Republican challenger Sharron Angle has now moved to a four-point lead over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada’s bare-knuckles U.S. Senate race.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Nevada Voters shows Angle hitting the 50% mark for the first time since mid-August, while Reid earns 46% of the vote. Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate in the race, and two percent (2%) more are undecided. (To see question wording, click here.)

This marks the widest gap between the two candidates since late June, but the race remains a Toss-Up in the Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 Senate Balance of Power rankings.

Reid fans will argue the question should include “none of the above,” since that is a listed ballot option in Nevada. But I will be surprised if we don’t see the support for the third-party options and “none of the above” shrink in the final days. Voters, by and large, prefer to vote for a candidate who has a chance of winning. Many of the GOP presidential primaries in 2008 had two candidates separating from the pack in the final week or so, and in New Jersey last year, support for independent Chris Daggett withered in the final days. The non-Reid, non-Angle options will get some votes, but I’ll bet that Angle and Reid amount to at least 90 percent of the vote.

The total percentage of voters who voted third-party and “none of the above” in Nevada Senate races since 1986 has been: 5.6 percent, 6.47 percent, 4.4 percent, 4.2 percent, 3.8 percent, and 3.8 percent. That comes out to an average of 4.8 percent. At this point, Reid probably needs at least double the average to have a shot at winning.

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

Fox News Poll Shows Mostly Good News for GOP in Ohio, Nevada, West Virginia, Missouri



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If you want to take a Fox News/Pulse Opinion Research poll with a grain of salt, you’re free to make that choice. But they’re not showing monolithically good news for Republicans. But where they do see good news, it’s quite good:

West Virginia

A new Fox News battleground state poll on the race for the seat held by the late Sen. Robert Byrd for 51 years shows Republican businessman John Raese with a 5-point lead over Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin among likely voters — 48 percent to 43 percent.

In what may be the year’s clearest case of Obama’s downward pull on his party’s candidates, Manchin gets high marks from voters – 66 percent approved of his job performance and 65 percent had a positive view of him personally — but they still prefer Raese.

Connecticut

Republican hopes to pick up a Democratic Senate seat in Connecticut face a tough reality on the ground. Democrat Richard Blumenthal holds a 10-point lead over Republican Linda McMahon in a new Fox News battleground poll in the race to replace retiring Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT).

Blumenthal — elected five times as attorney general — took 52 percent support compared to 42 percent for McMahon, who built a professional wrestling empire with her husband, Vince. The survey was taken before the fiery first debate between the two, moderated by “Special Report” anchor Bret Baier, on Monday night.

In the race for governor, Democrat Dan Malloy, the longtime mayor of Stamford, holds a 6-point edge over Republican Tom Foley, a businessman who served as an envoy to Iraq and an ambassador to Ireland under George W. Bush.

Reid on the Ropes in Nevada

Republican Sharron Angle seems to be solidifying her support in her bid to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada.

In the latest Fox News battleground state poll of likely voters, Angle drew 49 percent to Reid’s 46 percent. As voters make up their mind with four weeks to go until Election Day, Angle seems to have the edge.

Democratic strategists hope to prevent an Angle win by driving up her unfavorable ratings and pushing voters to choose a minor party candidate or “none of these.” Angle was viewed unfavorable by 53 percent in the survey. But Reid was viewed unfavorably by 55 percent.

GOP Looks Strong in Missouri Match-up

Missouri voters see a strong connection between President Obama and Democratic Senate nominee Robin Carnahan, and that’s not helping Carnahan.

A new Fox News battleground state poll in Missouri shows Carnahan trailing Republican candidate Roy Blunt by 8 points among likely voters. Blunt, a seven-term congressman from the central part of the state, won the support of 50 percent compared to 42 percent for Carnahan, the second-term secretary of state.

Republicans Still Gaining in Ohio

Republicans are still gaining ground in bellwether Ohio, a bad sign for Democrats trying to assess their party’s chances in the heartland this year.

Republican Senate candidate Rob Portman leads Democrat Lee Fisher by 16 points in the latest Fox News battleground state poll — Portman’s widest lead yet.

Republican gubernatorial challenger John Kasich also saw his numbers rise against Democratic incumbent Gov. Ted Strickland. Kasich was the choice of 49 percent of respondents compared to 43 percent for Strickland. The 6-point lead is the largest in the four weeks of Fox battleground polling on the race.

Tags: John Kasich , John Raese , Linda McMahon , Rob Portman , Roy Blunt , Sharron Angle

Doesn’t Chris Coons’ Lead Seem a Little . . . Small?



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A reader writes in:

Sir, I hope you will mention that O’Donnell is down sixteen points down in the latest PPP poll.  Hot Air seems to be blacking out this detail.  You have been a stand-up guy on this issue, refusing to sugar coat the facts for the Tea Party kids, I hope you’re not caving now.  I look to your site for honest reporting, not the bloviating you get in certain other quarters.

Indeed, O’Donnell is down 34 percent to 50 percent but . . . in light of everything that’s come out about her, and considering that Delaware is a heavily Democrat-leaning state, doesn’t Coons’s lead seem a little small?

Rush Limbaugh is urging his listeners to go all-out for O’Donnell; she’s raised about $450,000 so far today. The once-massive funds gap won’t be so large after all.

Perhaps more significantly, 16 percentage points is about what Linda McMahon has shaved off Richard Blumenthal’s lead during this campaign. That race, too, features a first-time* candidate with a lot of actions and associations in her past that are usually a tough sell. So far this year, Connecticut voters don’t seem to mind too much. They’re much more worried about what Washington is doing to the country.

Look at Nevada. Sharron Angle has plenty of past comments and stances that ought to make her hard to elect statewide; she’s neck-and-neck with the Senate majority leader. So far this year, Nevada voters don’t seem to mind Angle’s offbeat statements too much; they’re much more worried about what Washington is doing to the country.

In Ohio, Ted Strickland tried to make a big issue out of John Kasich’s work on Wall Street. So far, Ohio voters don’t care; they care more about the fact that the Buckeye State hasn’t seen any of those new jobs Strickland promised.

Christine O’Donnell has a lot of baggage. But Delaware Republicans didn’t care; they’re much more worried about what Washington is doing to the country. Is it so unthinkable that a majority of voters in the state as a whole think the same way?

* O’Donnell is not a first-time candidate. However, considering how little attention her last two Senate bids received, this is probably the first year most Delaware voters have really examined her, her stances, and her record.

Tags: Chris Coons , Christine O'Donnell , John Kasich , Linda McMahon , Sharron Angle

Good News for GOP in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Ohio, California



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The only bad news for Republicans in the latest batch of polls from Fox News is from Florida’s governor’s race:

Florida: Marco Rubio (R) leads Gov. Charlie Crist (I) in the U.S. Senate race, 43% to 27%, with Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) at 21%. Alex Sink (D) is ahead of Rick Scott (R) in the race for governor, 49% to 41%.

Nevada: Sharron Angle (R) edges Sen. Harry Reid (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 45% to 44%.

Pennsylvania: Pat Toomey (R) leads Rep. Joe Sestak (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 47% to 41%.

Ohio: Rob Portman (R) leads Lee Fisher (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 48% to 41%. John Kasich (R) is ahead of Gov. Ted Strickland (D) in the race for governor, 48% to 43%.

California: Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) edges Carly Fiorina (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 46% to 44%. Meg Whitman (R) is ahead of Jerry Brown (D) in the race for governor, 49% to 43%.

Most of these results are in line with other polls, but I suspect Sharron Angle’s supporters will be cheered at a non-Rasmussen poll* showing her ahead.

UPDATE: Eh, it’s sort of not Rasmussen: “Pulse Opinion Research licenses methodology developed by veteran pollster Scott Rasmussen, providing a survey platform for a host of clients, from individuals to special-interest groups. In fact, we provide the field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys. We have also collected data for presidential campaigns and top-tier political professionals from across the political spectrum. Over the period from 2003 to 2009, Pulse generated 18% of its revenue from Republican sources, 20% from Democrats and 61% from sources not affiliated with either major party.”

Tags: Carly Fiorina , Meg Whitman , Pat Toomey , Rick Scott , Rob Portman , Sharron Angle

Can You Copyright a Cliche?



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Matt Lewis is asking whether a new Christine O’Donnell television ad rips off an ad run to support Sharron Angle in Nevada.

I find myself in the weird position of . . . defending O’Donnell. I actually don’t think the similarities are that big a deal. Campaign ad folks are always looking for ideas and formats that work. A few years ago it was morphing your opponent into someone else; this year we’ve seen a lot more wacky humor.

If O’Donnell’s team thinks the Angle ad is effective against her longtime-incumbent opponent, I’m not too surprised that they would make their own version to hit their longtime incumbent opponent. Yes, maybe the graphics and tone and issues are eerily similar, but . . . they’re probably hearing the same thing from Nevada and Delaware voters when they test out the messages.

Tags: Christine O'Donnell , Sharron Angle

Make Harry Reid Say Something Stupid, Just By Clicking a Mouse



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The Sharron Angle campaign is having way too much fun over there in Nevada. Their latest invention? The Harry Reid soundboard.

Jon Ralston is entertained:

Now match it with the “Auto-Tune the News” guy, and you’ll have a Top 40 hit.

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

The NRA Will Still Be Heard This Cycle



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Over in the Corner, Kathryn notices the NRA’s non-endorsement of Harry Reid.

(Unfortunately, whatever I write on this subject is often attributed to one of my best buddies. So let me preface this by saying this analysis is based on much more than our conversations.)

The NRA believes they are best served by having friends on both sides of the aisle. They define themselves as a single-issue organization; while many of their members would identify themselves as conservatives and many are Republicans, the organization believes that any lawmaker who takes the right stances and votes should be supported by the organization, regardless of their views on non-gun issues. This is perhaps best illustrated by the NRA’s “A” rating for Howard Dean while he was governor of Vermont. 

This is not to say that Wayne LaPierre, Chris Cox, and the rest of the NRA’s leadership don’t have strong opinions about other issues; merely that they believe that the organization must always keep its eye on job one: protecting Americans’ Second Amendment rights. In their mind, considering a lawmaker’s overall governing philosophy or votes on other issues would mean the organization’s mission would get fuzzy and indistinct. (One rare exception to this is the group’s opposition to most campaign finance reform efforts; they feel that limiting gun owners’ right to support their preferred candidates is as abominable as limiting their Second Amendment rights.)

A moment of conservative resurgence like this one ought to be a great, triumphant moment for the NRA. But certain Democratic lawmakers have figured out that in order to get elected in non-inner-city parts of the country, they have to be resolutely, consistently, and loudly pro-gun. So in a few of the cycle’s most high-profile races, the organization has found itself contemplating an endorsement of a Democrat loathed by many of their Republican members.

On paper, the NRA doesn’t have a lot of reasons to be upset with Harry Reid, even if many of their Nevada members are irate at Reid about “the war is lost,” runaway spending, support for the Obama agenda, obnoxious comments, etc.

In Ohio, Ted Strickland has been precisely the kind of governor the NRA would like to see. John Kasich, by comparison, supported the Assault Weapons Ban back in 1994. He insists he’s learned from his mistake, but the NRA never forgets a bad vote, and endorsed Strickland.

In Florida, the NRA’s state officers have a long and happy working relationship with Charlie Crist, and he’s given the organization little reason to complain.

Many races this fall will feature what we’re used to seeing – a highly-rated pro-gun Republican against a poorly-rated anti-gun Democrat. It’s just the NRA’s luck that two of their longtime allies – Reid and Crist – are among the biggest targets of grassroots conservatives this cycle.

The NRA has stated they will not endorse in the Nevada Senate race. However, whether or not the NRA endorses in a particular race, they grade every candidate who answers their questions. Reid’s Sotomayor and Kagan votes will probably cost him an “A.” In the state legislature, Angle was pro-gun and it’s hard to imagine her suddenly embracing any gun control programs at this point. While she may not get endorsed, she may get graded higher than the incumbent.

Tags: Charlie Crist , Harry Reid , John Kasich , Sharron Angle , Ted Strickland

No NRA Endorsement for Harry Reid



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The NRA will not be endorsing Harry Reid. NRA Political Victory Fund Director Chris Cox just issued this statement:

In the coming days and weeks, the NRA Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) will be announcing endorsements and candidate ratings in hundreds of federal races, as well as thousands of state legislative races. Unless these announcements are required by the timing of primary or special elections, the NRA-PVF generally does not issue endorsements while important legislative business is pending. The NRA-PVF also operates under a long-standing policy that gives preference to incumbent candidates who have voted with the NRA on key issues, which is explained in more detail here.

The U.S. Senate recently considered a number of issues important to NRA members, including the confirmation of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Out of respect for the confirmation process, the NRA did not announce its position on Ms. Kagan’s confirmation until the conclusion of her testimony before the Senate Judiciary committee. Her evasive testimony exacerbated grave concerns we had about her long-standing hostility towards the Second Amendment. As a result, the NRA strongly opposed her confirmation and made it clear at the time that we would be scoring this important vote.

The vote on Elena Kagan’s confirmation to the Court, along with the previous year’s confirmation vote on Sonia Sotomayor, are critical for the future of the Second Amendment. After careful consideration, the NRA-PVF announced today that it will not be endorsing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for re-election in the 2010 U.S. Senate race in Nevada.

This is something of a surprise, and an advantage for Sharron Angle.

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

The Nevada Senate Race Remains Locked in Place: A Dead Heat



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The latest Mason-Dixon poll: Harry Reid 45, Sharron Angle 44.

The polls, since the M-D poll showed Reid ahead by 7 and Angle’s big ad campaign began: Reid by 2, Reid by 2, Reid by 1, Reid by 4, Reid by 2, Angle by 2, Reid by 1.

I think this validates the advertise-big-and-advertise-early strategy of the Angle campaign, discussed here:

For a long while, everyone in Nevada politics has known Reid had one shot at reelection: Define Angle early, destroy her reputation in an onslaught of negative ads, and eke out a victory in a low-turnout matchup.

“Reid gets it, but he thinks we’re going to play by the normal challenger playbook and sit on our cash,” says Jordan Gehrke, deputy campaign manager for Angle. “Republicans across America will be there to support us if we’re still in a competitive race after Labor Day. But that means they have to see us fighting back now, and so that’s what we’re doing.”

Before the GOP primary June 9, Angle generally held a modest lead when pitted against Reid in polls. But after Angle pulled off a surprise win in the primary, Reid put his campaign fortune to work with a series of negative ads. His barrage charged that Angle “wants to wipe out Social Security,” noted that she had appeared to compare Social Security to welfare, hit her for her past interest in a controversial prison drug-treatment program, and slammed her for a campaign-trail declaration that “I’m not in the business of creating jobs.”

Sensing that Reid’s ads were starting to establish Angle’s reputation in Nevada voters’ minds, the Angle camp responded with advertising of its own, roughly a half-million dollars’ worth — like the current buy, this was a lot of expensive air time for such a slow period. These ads featured Angle speaking before an audience of senior citizens, articulating widespread voter worries about debt and deficits, and promising the “opportunity to change the direction of our country: Government is not the solution to the problem; government is the problem.” A follow-up showed her taking on Reid’s slogan that “no one had done more”; she said that considering the results, fed-up voters wish he would “please stop.” The goal was simple: to show Nevadans that she was a normal woman who shared their concerns, nothing like the monster depicted in her rival’s commercials.

Shortly after Angle’s campaign began its counteroffensive, the Mason-Dixon poll showed her rebounding, from trailing Reid by six to trailing him by a single point. Then Reid, and supposedly independent groups that were in reality aligned with the Democratic candidate, spent another couple million, upping the ante. The plan is for the Angle campaign to maintain this current 1,600 points–per–week pace for the remainder of the election, with an increase after Labor Day.

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

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