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October 31, 2014

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Polls: Angle’s numbers weak with GOP base, needs multi-way field to win

As Rep. Dean Heller prepares to enter the U.S. Senate race, causing many dominoes to fall, the question of what Sharron Angle will do is weighing on a lot of minds besides the congressman’s.

I have often said Angle would be the favorite for Heller’s seat, but recent polling data suggests she has a real base problem, detritus perhaps from her failed bid against the bête noire of the Republican faithful, a k a Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The data is indisputable: I have seen three polls during the last few days, all of which show Angle’s numbers are not healthy among Republicans. It seems clear, barring the unexpected (which should never be barred where Angle is concerned), that she cannot win a straight-up race against any prominent Republican, whether it’s Heller in the Senate race or, for instance, Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki in the Congressional District Two race. (Angle may have a better matrix in CD2, where ex-U.S.S. Cole Commander Kirk Lippold and state GOP boss Mark Amodei appear poised to enter.)

I have seen the data for the three polls but I am not at liberty to release them. Suffice it so say, they were all taken recently and they all show basically the same thing: Angle’s negatives are soaring among those who at one time swooned over her.

Buyer’s remorse? Bitter disappointment? Blinders removed?

Whatever the reason, Angle's decision to run (or not) and what office to seek must be tempered (or should be, at least) with the knowledge she begins in a much weaker position than she did when she ran in 2010, with familiarity now breeding possibly fatal contempt. Yes, it’s only March 2011 and no one has a better work ethic. But while I still make Angle a slight favorite if it’s a four- or five-way field in CD2, she amassed quite a bit of baggage in 2010 and her opponents may start recycling some of those Harry Reid spots if she gets in.

And a question that has to be worrying some Republicans: If this district isn't altered too much, or loses any Republicans, could an Angle primary win give the Democrats a chance to take this seat?

That sound you hear is GOP National Committeeman Bob List trying to find some alternative race for Angle. Good luck.

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