(Chuck Muth) – When an NPR reporter asked me on Friday if I thought Sharron Angle needed to start reaching out to independents and Democrats for the general election, I said “no.” The reality is Sharron still hasn’t secured her base – and until she does that, there’s no sense trying to reach outside it.
And I’m not just talking about moderate Republicans here; I’m talking about conservative Republicans.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more respected, card-carrying Nevada conservative than former Rep. Barbara Vucanovich – but according to a story in Sunday’s Las Vegas Review-Journal, Vucanovich “said she isn’t sure she’ll vote for Angle on November 2nd.”
No, she won’t be voting for Reid….but she might vote for “None of the Above.” Vucanovich said that Angle is “a very difficult person” and that she’d have to think “long and hard” before casting a vote for the GOP’s U.S. Senate nominee.
This is a HUGE problem for Angle.
There’s also the problem of easing the unease of many Ron Paul-type libertarian-conservatives (count me among this group). Sharron talks an excellent limited-government game; however, her recently revealed predisposition to use the power of government to regulate morality is causing deep suspicions which also may result in “None of the Above” votes.
Oh, and there are now plenty of Republicans over the age of 65 who are now deeply suspicious of Angle’s professed antipathy towards Social Security and Medicare. Sure, the Reid camp is behind the disingenuous efforts to raise doubts about Sharron’s actual position on these two programs…but it worked.
Republican seniors are now casting a wary eye Angle’s way….and seniors vote. Big time.
And then there are Republicans – conservative and moderate alike – who simply don’t see Angle’s path to victory and have resigned themselves to being for what’s going to be.
Unless Angle articulates and demonstrates a CREDIBLE winning general election strategy, many Republicans are apt to simply sit this one out and stay home – especially if it looks like Republican Brian Sandoval is running away with the governor’s race.
As Guy Rocha, Nevada historian, put it in the RJ on Sunday, Angle “has to get the Nevada Republican Party to rally around her campaign. If she can’t, I don’t think there are enough disgruntled Democrats or independents to make up the difference she needs to carry the state.”
Angle will get a chance to do just that; to rally the split factions of the party to her campaign at the Nevada GOP convention in Las Vegas in two weeks. But she’ll need to deliver a barn-burner of a speech that salves the primary wounds, allays the doubts of seniors and libertarian-conservatives, and demonstrates beyond a shadow of doubt that she can win in November.
That’s a pretty tall order. And it’s not much of an exaggeration to suggest that the hopes and dreams of the entire “dump Reid” movement will be riding on that one speech. Sure glad I’m not the one who has to give it!
Or even write it.