Long before there was Christine O'Donnell, the GOP nominee in Delaware who put an easy Republican win into the Dems column, there was Sharron Angle of Nevada, the Tea Party candidate who stole the nomination from a mainstream challenger to Harry Reid. So, what's up with Sharron?
A barrage of attack ads from both sides has done zilch to yield a front-runner in Nevada's heated Senate race, according to a new poll that shows voters remain evenly split between Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican challenger Sharron Angle.
It's too bad that Sharron hasn't pulled ahead, but consider the implications. A woman who has been a niche player in Nevada politics - who has made some edgy comments in the past - is lifted to the GOP nomination in a shocker. And Harry Reid, the most powerful member of the U.S. Senate, and one fo the architects of the Obama agenda, can't shake her.
In the first survey to question voters about all the Senate candidates, the poll published Friday by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and KLAS-TV shows Reid and Angle tied with 43 percent support.
Reid and Angle continued to draw support from their bases — 82 percent for Reid from Democrats and 79 percent for Angle from Republicans, the poll shows.
As usual, each candidate is dominant in their own party, and the race comes down to independents.
Despite the deadlock, the poll charts a small victory trail for Angle, who could win if she is able to exploit a strong advantage over Reid among nonpartisan voters.
In baseball, a tie goes to the runner. In this election year, a tie goes to the challenger. A recent Gallup poll shows that voters will take the inexperienced Republican over the experienced Democrat.
Republican serving in congress - 15
Republican who has not served in congress - 38
Democrat who has not served in congress - 16
Democrat serving in congress - 24
There's also the issue of which side is more motivated to show up on election day.
A political enthusiasm gap is helping Republicans in their effort to roll up big gains in the congressional elections. GOP supporters are a lot more interested in getting their party's candidates elected than Democrats are in electing theirs, a new AP-GfK poll shows... Nearly six in 10 who say their November vote will signal opposition to Obama also say they are extremely interested in the campaign, compared with only about four in 10 who say their vote will show support for him.
The GOP newcomer has a generic 14 point advantage over the Democratic incumbent, and highly motivated Republicans are 50% more interested in the election. As undecideds, or those with weak commitment to the Democrat, show up to vote, we can expect them to break toward change, and we can expect a disproportionate number of conservatives to be voting.