Power Play Update: Angle Rising at the Right Time

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Three consecutive polls this week, including this week's FOX News battleground state survey, have shown Nevada Republican Sharron Angle with a lead over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Today, Angle moved into the lead on the Real Clear Politics Average for the race, albeit by less than a point. But it has long been expected that this race would be a close one. It is a very real possibility that the winner, whomever it is, will have less than 50 percent of the vote.

If Angle is solidifying her position with voters, now would be a very good time. Early voting starts next week in Nevada.

Early voters tend also to be more partisan, and Angle still has a way to go in closing the deal with Republicans. Consider the fact that Nevada Republican gubernatorial candidate Brain Sandoval is leading Reid's son, Rory, by consistently huge margins in their contest.

Angle, who Reid's campaign says is selling "crazy juice" to voters, is underperforming among Republicans and right-leaning independents. While there is good reason to believe that Nevada Democrats will have underwhelming turnout this year with two largely disliked Reid's at the top of the ticket, Angle has to worry about getting voters to the polls too.

If anti-Reid voters are reconciling themselves to the idea of Senator Angle and Republicans are more enthusiastic to vote, early voting, which usually benefits Democrats, could actually be a boon to Angle.

Every vote she can rack up before the final millions are spent on Reid's behalf - no doubt overwhelmingly in attack ads.

Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily Fox News Halftime Report political news note and co-hosts the hit podcast, Perino & Stirewalt: I'll Tell You What. He also is the host of Power Play, a feature video series on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on network programs, including America’s Newsroom, Special Report with Bret Baier and Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. He also provides expert political analysis for FNC’s coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.