Sharron Angle Senate Campaign: How To Lose An 11-Point Lead In 7 Weeks
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Following Tea Party-backed candidate Sharron Angle's come-from-nowhere win in Nevada's Republican primary, the conservative hopeful has found herself trekking along a rocky road in her quest to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The Christian Science Monitor reports on the state of the race as it stood just seven weeks ago:
Nevadans were down on their senior senator, according to the polls. The "tea party" movement was zeroing in on him as representative of all that's wrong with big-government politics back in Washington. And it looked like any of his likely GOP opponents could beat the four-term incumbent in November.
Shortly after Nevada Republicans chose former state assemblywoman Sharron Angle to run against Reid, the beleaguered Democrat was trailing his opponent by 11 percentage points in a Rasmussen Reports poll of likely Nevada voters.
But the latest numbers to come out on the contentious Senate match-up paint a dramatically different picture.
A survey from Rasmussen released this week shows Reid maintaining a 2-point lead over Angle. A recent Mason-Dixon poll revealed the ranking Democrat to be ahead of the GOP hopeful by an even wider 7-point margin.
Angle herself has acknowledged that since the primary, her campaign hasn't exactly been smooth sailing.
"We're going to have to roller coaster for a while," the Senate hopeful reportedly told her staff as the general election match-up got underway. "You saw it during the primary. We were up, we were down. But we always knew that it would all come together at the right time. And it did. And that's what we're looking forward to. . . . Don't lose your nerve in the beginning here, because we've got a pretty long road."
National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Sen. John Cornyn predicted it would "take a few weeks" to work out the kinks in Angle's political operation after she secured the GOP nomination. But when asked to reevaluate the conservative candidate's campaign over a month later, the Texas Senator said, "We continue to work with them, but it's a work in progress."
So, how did Angle manage to lose an 11-point lead in just seven weeks?
Below, a slideshow highlighting some of the controversies and gaffes that may shed light on the factors behind the downward spiral of the conservative contender's campaign: