Published June 06, 2010
A massive influx of cash from Tea Party supporters has vaulted Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle to the top of the U.S. Republican Senate primary race in Nevada, a major breakthrough in just six weeks.
A Las Vegas Review Journal poll conducted by the Mason-Dixon polling firm puts Angle at 32 percent compared to 24 percent Las Vegas businessman Danny Tarkanian and 23 percent for former state Sen. Sue Lowden.
But the volatility of the race means anything could change in the next two days before Tuesday's primary election.
Just a week ago, Lowden and Angle were tied statistically 30-29 percent followed by Tarkanian at 23 percent.
The number of undecided voters among the 500 GOP registered voters surveyed has also climbed from 8 percent to 13 percent in the last week.
Of those surveyed in the latest poll, 90 identify themselves as Tea Partiers suggesting most of the undecideds are not Tea Party candidates. Among Angle voters, 56 percent said they are Tea Party members as opposed to 11 percent for Tarkanian and 19 percent for Lowden.
That means Angle could have a tough go of it in the general election against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Tarkanian and Angle both surpass in a head-to-head matchup, though Tarkanian's 46-39 percent lead over Reid is stronger than Angle's 44-41 percent lead. Lowden gets 41 percent to Reid's 42 percent. That matchup was of 625 likely voters with a 4 percent margin of error.
The contest has not come without spending. Angle has faced hundreds of thousands of dollars in negative advertising from Lowden as well as a recent onslaught from Reid. But Angle's Tea Party supporters have launched back with more than $500,000 in TV and radio ads.
"After Sharron Angle wins the GOP primary on Tuesday, you can be sure there's a lot more Tea Party power ready to take on Harry Reid in the general election," said Bryan Shroyer, Political Director for the Tea Party Express.
Lowden Campaign Manager Robert Uithoven contended that Angle may be strong among Tea Partiers, but won't have general election appeal.
"If Angle's opening champagne in Nevada, then Reid will be opening champagne in Washington," Uithoven told the Las Vegas Journal-Review.