Nevada GOP doubles down on outsiders 

Nevada's Republican voters appear ready for a change.

The Nevada Republican Senate primary has been turned on its head by the anti-establishment Tea Party movement as former Reno assemblywoman Sharron Angle, backed by grassroots activists, has grabbed the lead from former state Republican Party Chair Sue Lowden.

And voters appear poised to reject embattled Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons in the Republican gubernatorial primary.

A poll released Sunday conducted for the Las Vegas Review Journal shows Gibbons trailing former federal judge Brian Sandoval by 14 points.

Mason-Dixon polling last week showed Angle with a 9-point lead over Lowden, while Lowden has sunk to third place behind businessman and former college basketball star Danny Tarkanian.

The results aren't surprising given that the poll's survey of 500 Republican voters found 64 percent in support of the Tea Party movement's agenda, though only 18 percent said they considered themselves official members of the group.

Lowden's campaign has been floundering since April, when she spoke in praise of a bartering system, including poultry, to pay for health care.

The three candidates are vying for the chance to unseat Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat whose once-terrible poll numbers have improved recently.

Angle could be an easier GOP candidate for Reid to take on in a general election matchup because he could attack her views as outside the mainstream.

The Mason-Dixon poll shows Reid trailing Angle by 3 points and the more mainstream Tarkanian by 7. Reid leads Lowden by a point, a dramatic turnaround from April, when Lowden was ahead by 13.

sferrechio@washingtonexaminer.com

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