Reid's challenger is slipping, but how far? 

After her come-from-behind victory in the Nevada Republican Senate primary, Sharron Angle's campaign team has worked to change her image from far-right candidate to a more mainstream Republican.

But it may not be enough to save her campaign. State political analysts are now placing their bets on her Democratic opponent, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who just weeks ago was considered political toast.

"If you were in Vegas and wanted to get a bet down, I'd bet on Reid, but it wouldn't be a large bet," said Ted G. Jelen, professor and chairman of political science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The most recent poll, conducted by Rasmussen three weeks ago, shows Angle up by 7 points, but it may be Reid who is leading by now.

"I'm not sure she is ahead anymore," said Nevada political journalist Jon Ralston. "There is some private data that indicate Reid may be pulling ahead. I consider the race a tossup that may be leaning toward Reid right now. Her numbers have fallen, there is no doubt about that."

A drop in the polls for Angle would not be surprising. Though running as the most conservative of three Republican candidates helped her win 40 percent of the GOP primary vote, her views will make it much harder for her to capture the support of this swing state's general electorate, of which 15 percent are independents.

Angle has advocated for a complete phase-out of Social Security, the elimination of the Department of Education and opening up the state's Yucca Mountain for reprocessing used nuclear fuel.

All of her ideas were posted on her primary campaign Web site but were scrubbed the day after she won the race. A new Web site emerged, minus the references to killing Social Security or the Department of Education. There is no mention of Yucca Mountain.

"They are trying to change her tune and they know that is the problem," Ralston said of the Angle campaign.

Reid, in the meantime, is doing all he can to remind voters of the Sharron Angle who ran in the primary. His campaign last week reposted her old Web site information under a new Web address, TheRealSharronAngle.com. Angle's camp accused Reid of breaking the law and demanded they take the information down, but Reid has refused, citing the First Amendment.

Reid is also pummeling Angle with negative campaign ads, which he can afford with a war chest of nearly $9 million. Angle will have to struggle to raise money and will have to rely on small amounts of cash trickling in from out of state.

"Reid is going to choke off the in-state money," said David Damore, a political science professor at UNLV. "Particularly from the mining and gaming industries."

Reid will also have the help of President Obama, who will appear with Reid in Nevada on Thursday and likely throughout the rest of the campaign, which will help bring out the Democratic base Reid desperately needs to win.

"I think this election is going to be about turnout on both sides," Ralston said.

sferrechio@washingtonexaminer.com

About The Author

Susan Ferrechio

Pin It
Favorite

More by Susan Ferrechio

© 2018 The San Francisco Examiner

Website powered by Foundation