The good news? She’s a solid fundraiser, hauling in more than $2.5 million in the second quarter. The bad news? Er, most everything else. Lest you think this is a hit piece by CQ Politics — and given the recent polling trends, you shouldn’t — Matt Lewis tweeted a few hours ago that he’s also hearing grumbling from conservatives about her lackluster campaign. Weak organization wouldn’t matter much against an incumbent as loathed as Reid, I think, if she were a more conventional candidate. But as a tea-party star with an eye to eliminating Social Security and the Department of Education (positions which have now been quietly revised on the campaign website), her staff has its work cut out for it.
“It’s dysfunctional,” a Nevada Republican added, when asked to give an assessment of the Angle campaign. “She can still win, but the operation seems odd at best.”…
“It gets down to pure message discipline, and she doesn’t have it,” a second Nevada Republican said. “There’s no one in the campaign to enforce it.”
This GOP operative, no stranger to Silver State campaigns, said he’s unfamiliar with senior staffers running Angle’s campaign. A second Republican, this one based in Washington, lamented that Las Vegas-based Mike Slanker, considered by many to be Nevada’s premier Republican consultant, is working for Linda McMahon’s Senate campaign in Connecticut…
Republican sources say Cornyn is working with Angle in an attempt to get her to hire a team of capable operatives. But, said the Republican operative with experience in Nevada campaigns, Angle’s ability to raise money — the one thing she has proved to be adept at since winning the primary –leaves Cornyn without the leverage to force Angle to hire a team of his choosing.
I still think she wins if she’s close in the final week, as last-minute deciders will contemplate six more years of Reid and shiver. But that’s only if she’s close; J.D. Hayworth, another grassroots favorite facing an extremely vulnerable incumbent, arguably stands to benefit the same way but his polls are tanking as public perceptions of his kookiness have grown. In fact, ironically, the one tea-party star who’s weathered the left’s inevitable kook charges thus far and maintained a comfortable lead is … Rand Paul, who took a beating for a solid week over his comments on the Civil Rights Act.
I’m interested in hearing what you guys think about the CQ piece. Better to have Angle be entirely who she is — her own staff, her heartfelt positions, rough edges and all — or should the national party move in after the primary to maximize her electability (especially with Reid’s seat as the prize)? If sacrificing purity in the interests of winning is okay, how far does that principle extend?