(Jim Clark) – What are to make of Sharron Angle bagging the GOP nomination for US Senate against Harry Reid? Full disclosure – I voted for Sue Lowden and contributed to her campaign. But now it’s time for all Republicans to coalesce behind our primary election winners so let’s take an analytical look at the Angle – Reid matchup.
Sharron first ran for the Nevada Assembly in 1998. There was no Democrat in that race so she faced off against a fellow Republican, a Washoe School District cop who supported collective bargaining. Sharron won 61% of the vote to her opponent’s 39% .In the 2000 election, she bested her Democratic opponent 79% to 31%. Following the 2000 census the Democrat-controlled assembly changed district boundaries and threw Sharron into the same district as Incline’s then Assemblyman Greg Brower forcing the two of them to run against each other. Although Greg was the incumbent Sharron bested him 51% to 48% in the 2002 GOP Primary Election and went on to defeat her Democrat opponent 62% to 35% in the 2002 General Election. In 2004 Sharron again bested her Democrat opponent 61% to 34% to retain her seat in the assembly.
In 2006 she left the assembly to enter a three way Republican Primary race for Jim Gibbons’ congressional seat against “establishment” candidate Dean Heller and First Lady Dawn Gibbons. Heller garnered 35.90% of the vote, Sharron 35.29% and Gibbons 25.1%. In 2008 she took on Nevada’s most senior state senator, incumbent Bill Raggio, in the Republican Primary Election. Raggio raised and spent over a half million dollars on the race and barely eked out a win over Sharron 52% to 47%. As we all now know last week she came from behind to best 11 other candidates for the GOP US Senate nomination with 40% of the vote to 26% for her nearest competitor, Sue Lowden. Sharron has never lost to a Democrat and has more than held her own against big name Republicans.
The ballots were barely counted last week when expected cries went up from the Reid camp that Sharron is a far right nut and out of the main stream. More newsworthy was Reno Mayor Bob Cashell announcing that he couldn’t support Sharron because of her political views. What are to make of the mayor’s announcement? Not much, really. A week earlier Cashell let slip his pro-Reid bias by calling Candidate Sue Lowden “suicide Sue”. Reno’s treasury is running on empty and Cashell needs some one in Washington who knows the way to the vault so no surprise whatsoever. Cashell may yet be asked to head Republicans for Reid but they will be able to hold meetings in a phone booth.
According to Wikipedia Sharron wants: (1) to eliminate the US Dept. of Education (so did Ronald Reagan); (2) the US out of the UN (that’s making more and more sense); (3) to privatize Medicare and Social Security (so did George W. Bush); (4) to expand domestic energy (so does everybody except environ-Nazis); and (5) to make Yucca into a profitable reprocessing center, not a dump (that may cost her votes in Las Vegas but it’s a honest position). So who’s crazy here, big spender Harry Reid or Sharron?
Currently Pollster Scott Rasmussen shows her leading Reid 50% to 39%. His analysis: “If Angle is able to make the election a referendum on Reid she will be the favorite. If Reid is successful at framing the race between an incumbent the voters know and an unacceptable alternative he will have a better chance”.
Sounds like marching orders.
(Jim Clark is President of Republican Advocates, a vice chair of the Washoe County GOP and a member of the Nevada GOP Central Committee)