Harry Reid's Tea Party Dreams

| Mon May. 24, 2010 10:35 AM PDT

Thanks to a series of missteps by Sue Lowden, the top GOP candidate in Nevada's 2010 senate race, it's beginning to look like Nevada senator Harry Reid could square off against the Tea Party come November. That's a battle Reid would love, and one that political experts in Nevada say largely favors the Senate majority leader.

As both Politico and I reported today, Reid's main challenger, Lowden, a former chair of the Nevada GOP, has stumbled in the final weeks before Nevada's June 8 primary. (Reid has no Democratic primary opponent.) She blundered when she implicitly suggested that patients barter with doctors for care and even trade chickens. And now one of her primary opponents, Danny Tarkanian, says Lowden broke campaign finance law by accepting an RV from a donor that she's used to travel the state. (Lowden's campaign says she in compliance with the law.) Nonetheless, Lowden has slipped in the polls, with a Democratic-funded poll showing Sharron Angle, the Tea Party-backed underdog on the GOP side, just beating Lowden and Tarkanian, Politico reported.

All of this bodes well for Reid, who, as I reported today, also has the passage of financial reform to bolster his record on the campaign trail. From the sounds of it, his campaign couldn't be happier if it faced the Tea Party candidate, Angle, in November and not Lowden, the more established, traditional GOPer. Indeed, Reid's campaign has highlighted Lowden's gaffes as often as it can in an effort to knock her out of contention for the fall. And if Angle does win on June 8, there's no doubting Reid's people will do everything they can to paint the Tea Party Express darling as cut from the Rand-Paul-Civil-Rights-Act cloth.

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