June 6th, 2010
02:45 PM ET
12 years ago

Poll: Tea Party backed candidate in Nevada surging

Los Angeles (CNN) - A second straight poll suggests that a candidate backed by a national Tea Party organization is now in the lead in the battle for Nevada's Republican Senate nomination.

With two days to go until Nevada's primary, a new Mason-Dixon survey conducted for the Las Vegas Review-Journal indicates that 32 percent of likely GOP primary voters back Sharron Angle. The former member of the Nevada Assembly has won endorsements in recent months from many conservative organizations, including significant financial backing from the Tea Party Express, a national Tea Party group best known for running three cross country bus caravans, and the Club for Growth, a fiscally conservative organization.

Angle has aggressively touted her connection to Tea Party activists, calling the movement "a tsunami of conservatism across this country."

According to the poll, which was released Sunday, 24 percent support Las Vegas businessman and former University of Nevada Las Vegas basketball star Danny Tarkanian, with 23 percent pulling for businesswoman and former Nevada GOP party chairwoman Sue Lowden. The remaining candidates in the field of a 13 bidding for the Republican Senate nomination are in single digits in the survey. Thirteen percent of people questioned in the poll remain undecided. The percentage of people unsure about their vote is up five points from a Mason Dixon poll released a week ago.

A Suffolk University Political Research Center survey released Thursday indicated that 33 percent of state GOP voters back Angle in Tuesday's primary, with Tarkanian at 26 percent and Lowden at 25 percent.

Angle appears to be surging. A Mason-Dixon poll conducted in early April indicated Angle was a distant third, far behind Lowden and Tarkanian. But according to a Mason Dixon survey conducted last month, Angle had jumped into second place, trailing Lowden by five points.

"Angle is the favorite at this point, but I wouldn't say it's a done deal," Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker tells the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "She's got the momentum, but there's still 13 percent on the table."

Lowden appears to have suffered from a much publicized gaffe. She suggested at a town hall meeting in rural Nevada that people could barter for medical care, recalling that some even traded chickens for a doctor's services in the old days. The comments fueled sarcasm and criticism of her and her campaign.

The winner of Tuesday's Republican primary will take on presumptive Democratic nominee, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who's battling for a fifth term.

The survey indicates that among registered voters, Tarkanian leads Reid 46 to 39 percent in a hypothetical general election matchup, with Angle edging Reid 44 percent to 41 percent and Reid up a point over Lowden, 42 percent to 41 percent.

The Mason-Dixon poll for the Las Vegas Review-Journal was conducted June 1-3, with 625 Nevada registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error was plus or minus four percentage points. The poll included a survey of 500 likely Nevada GOP primary voters, with a sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: 2010 • Danny Tarkanian • Nevada • Poll • Sharron Angle • Sue Lowden • Tea Party movement
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Susie

    And another Palin annointee bites the dust. She sure can pick 'em.

    June 6, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  2. harold

    Small government...... says the T...Party... that will fight Terrorism... the Oil spill.. and so on.. You get the picture doncha?

    June 6, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  3. BeverlyNC

    Ensure victory for Democrats all over the nation this November – get tea party candidate nutjobs for them to run against!

    NO ONE with half a brain is going to put a know-nothing, racist, extremist tea bagger in Congress. They have no grasp of the issues, no clue on how Congress works, and are just whiners with no solutions. They are even worse than the current do-nothing lying Republicans who caused every mess President Obama has had to clean up.

    Please give us more teabaggers – it will be fantastic to have an almost totally Democratic House and Senate!

    June 6, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. CaliforniaBC

    Oh yeah...PLEASE!!! Pick the nutbag tea partier....please!! How many average, halfway practical-minded Americans will vote for a candidate who wants to get rid of the Department of Education, take Social Security away for younger generations and who is so shortsighted that they want to get rid of income taxes. Yes, not paying taxes would be great but from a practical perspective.......HOW?!?!?!? will that work. There would be no functioning government without income.

    It's funny because people have freaked out about the fast, overarching change coming from the left but here's a candidate from the EXTREME right who also wants overarching change. It's seems obvious the a large portion of Americans who sit generally in the middle are afraid of significant change. So what makes the tea partiers think that their candidate will resonate with the majority of Americans??? When it comes down to it people want candidates who are more centrist than anything else.

    So please, put that crazy teabagger up for election....Harry Reid will win again....and that's not such a bad thing. He's done a lot of good in Congress whether the diehards from the Republican party think so or not.

    June 6, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. Colorado Voter


    The "Tea Party" is a NIGHTMARE for the Republican Party. These people LOSE ELECTIONS. They are Far Off the mainstream and simply have no connection to the majority of voters. The Democratic Senator from Nevada will keep his seat.

    Progressives everywhere should *rejoice* that a group of bigots, hate-mongers and other small minded goofs have organized into a virulent takeover of the already right-wing Republican Machine.

    It's OVER, and it may take a decade for these lunatics to recover.


    June 6, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. Pragmatic

    Can we separate the tea-party people from the actual qualifications of Lowden? She is a former beauty queen from NJ, a wealthy casino owner and former republican chair who advocated doctors accepting poultry for medical services ....

    Lowden was on her way out no matter whether the tea-party supported her or not! Now watch them claim unearned credit for the election!

    June 6, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. 8 years of the Bush Error = How many years of recession and unemployment?

    I think a repub strategist said it best:

    "If Angle is popping champagne corks on Tuesday night in Nevada then Reid will be popping champagne corks in D.C."

    Do tea baggers really think the people of Nevada are going to trade in the Senator that leads the Senate for a freshman with no power?

    No, all politics are local and the voters know Reid will get more for the state than any freshman Senator, especially a racist tea bagger.

    June 6, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  8. barbie

    I live in Las Vegas, and I think the candidate that would most likely beat Reid is Tarkanian just because the other two have beaten each other up so much before the primary. Tarkanian, in my opinion, wouldn't stand any chance if it were not for his famous name here in Nevada. I will vote for Reid as I think we would be shooting ourselves in the foot if he is defeated. We now have one worthless senator (Ensign) who may have to resign due to his political and legal difficulties. Why would we want to have another senator who has absolutely NO power to represent our state?

    June 6, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |