(Jim Clark) – In last month’s Primary Election Sharron Angle handily defeated eleven other GOP candidates in the US Senate race (including my candidate, Sue Lowden, who came in a distant second). The media had already started in on the theme that “Angle’s too extreme” so I did some research on Sharron’s electoral history.
Sharron has run for office six times since 1998. Her smallest margin over a Democratic opponent was 62% to 35%; her largest was 79% to 31%. She is a prodigious campaigner. Let’s look at her performance last month in the Primary. In Nevada’s six largest counties Angle out polled Lowden as follows: Clark: 35,127 to 27,779; Washoe; 17,995 to 9,332, Douglas: 3,811 to 1,659; Carson: 3,014 to 1,329; Nye: 1,980 to 1,275; Elko: 1,715 to 1,321. That shows electoral strength all over the state.
Immediately after the Primary Election she was leading Harry Reid 50% to 39% in the Rasmussen poll. Reid was all ready to discredit her with a negative ad campaign and he flooded the airwaves with it. By July 14 a Mason-Dixon poll showed Reid ahead by 44 to 37. It took Sharron some time to bulk up her campaign after her win but she did produce two ads to counter Reid’s onslaught. They began airing July 14. By July 28 Sharron had narrowed the gap to 45% to 43% in the Rasmussen poll. By month end she and Reid were neck and neck according to a Las Vegas Review-Journal Mason-Dixon poll. During that period Reid reportedly spent $11 million and Sharron $600,000. Also in the quarter ended June 30 Sharron beat Reid in fundraising $2.6 million to $2.4 million.
On July 30 the Dallas Morning News reported that 3 Dallas executives gave $1 million each to an independent expenditure committee formed by Karl Rove to target Harry Reid in the fall campaign. Virginia-based American Crossroads has so far raised $4.7 million dedicated to the defeat of Harry Reid in Nevada and the success of Republican Pat Toomey in the Pennsylvania Senate race.
Reid vs. Angle is shaping up to be a titanic race. Reid has already blown half his campaign funds trying to discredit Sharron even before the traditional Labor Day campaign kickoff and she has roared back, spending less than 5% of what Reid has. So it especially pains me to hear some “country Club Republicans” dismiss Sharron as “too extreme” or conclude “she can’t win”.
Both notions are very wrong as the above facts clearly show. Sharron is conservative but so are Toomey (R – PA) and Senators DeMint (R – SC), Vitter (R – LA), Cochran (R – MS), Wicker (R – MS), Burr (R – NC), Imhofe (R – OK), Coburn (R- OK), Cornyn (R – TX), Enzi (R – WY), Barasso (R – WY), Thune (R – SD) and, yes, Ensign (R – NV) all of whom earned a perfect 100 rating from the American Conservative Union. If we want to put the brakes on taxing and spending we need to have Sharron join this group.
One final point: During Ronald Reagan’s 1966 campaign for governor of California, Republicans established the so-called Eleventh Commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican”. Washoe County GOP Chair Ralph McMullen has republished this commandment and added:
“In Nevada we have had a number of spirited, multi-candidate Primary campaigns this year and the temptation for grumbling and complaining by those who backed unsuccessful candidates is, as it has always been, tempting. Don’t fall for it!”
“Get behind of our candidates. Volunteer, contribute, write letters to the editor . . . in other words be a good Republican.”.
Words for the wise.
(Jim Clark is President of Republican Advocates, a vice chair of the Washoe County GOP and a member of the Nevada GOP Central Committee. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)