Sharron Angle Gets a Tea Party Bump

Before April 15, Sharron Angle wasn't even on the radar. Nevada's crowded Republican Senate primary, which will determine Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's challenger in the fall, was looking like a two-way race between Sue Lowden (a former state Senator and Nevada GOP) and Danny Tarkanian (a real estate businessman and former lawyer who played point guard for his father at UNLV).


Then Angle, a former state assemblywoman, earned an endorsement from Tea Party Express, the group that puts on high-profile Tea Party bus tours. After that, things changed.

Since that endorsement, Angle has gained 20 percentage points in polls, shooting ahead of Tarkanian and becoming a viable contender to win the race.

In an April 5-7 Mason Dixon poll, Lowden led the race at 45%; Tarkanian ranked second with 27%; Angle, meanwhile, collected only 5%.

In the most recent poll, however, Angle has leapfrogged Tarkanian and trails Lowden by only 5 percentage points. Lowden leads at 30%, Angle places second at 25%, and Tarkanian ranks third with 22% in the May 10-11 Mason-Dixon poll.

15% of Republicans surveyed don't recognize Angle, which is about 10 points worse than Lowden and Tarkanian, but it's not bad for a candidate who was considered inconsequential only a month ago.

Angle can thank Tea Party Express for a $300,000 TV and radio campaign. The group is purchasing another round of air time, worth another $100,000, and it has launched a direct-mail campaign on Angle's behalf.

The group has been soliciting donations to help Angle win. Spokesman Levi Russell says the money is being put directly toward independent expenditures in Nevada. (TPE is an arm of the Our Country Deserves Better PAC, which was launched by Republican consulting firm Russo Marsh + Rogers. Donations technically go to the PAC, as it's the PAC that files with the Federal Election Commission.)

Other prominent Tea Party groups don't endorse candidates, which means TPE's endorsement has made Angle the only candidate in this race who's tied, in an official capacity, to the unofficial "Tea Party" brand. Apparently it's helped.
Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Politics

Just In