Here’s a little unsolicited “tough love” advice for Sharron Angle supporters which I’m sure most will blow off – while others will want to blow my head off for daring to suggest.
Yes, most Nevada Republicans will now vote for Angle in the general election, if only because they can’t stand the incumbent alternative. That’s not the point.
The point is it will take more than just the votes of 80 percent of registered Republicans in Nevada to defeat Harry Reid. Angle has to get a majority of independents and a fair chunk of Democrats, too. And to this date, despite verbal assurances by the candidate that it can be done, the campaign has yet to credibly outline such a path to victory.
Put aside your rose-colored glasses for a moment and consider the fact that Angle has yet to get a majority of GOP votes in a primary election in her last three races. And her wins for the state Legislature were in a small assembly district that was overwhelmingly Republican in registration.
Not slightly. Overwhelmingly.
So Sharron’s electability in the general election is absolutely a legitimate question to raise and one that remains unanswered….unless “everybody hates Harry Reid and, therefore, anybody can beat him without really trying” is your campaign strategy. But if that’s all you got, then all the whispered doubts from here to the Potomac are well-founded.
And those doubts mean many a Republican volunteer and/or donor is going to say “Go Sharron, go!” but will otherwise devote their time and money to what they believe are more winnable races, especially the Nevada governor’s race against Son of Reid and Joe Heck’s challenge to Rep. Dina Titus. You Angle supporters can get mad at me all you want, but that’s the reality.
Which brings me to another little piece of advice for Angle-ophiles: Get mad privately, but bite your e-tongues publicly. Don’t make the same mistake some Ron Paul supporters made in 2008.
As you may recall, the more zealous, sometimes rabid, Ron Paul supporters were so convinced of their candidate’s moral, intellectual and philosophical superiority (with understandable justification, I’ll concede) that anyone who dared raise the question about Dr. Paul’s electability – even other hard-core Ron Paul supporters – where adjudged traitors, criminals, comrades, terrorists and worse. Not exactly the way to win friends and influence people.
Those Internet trolls often won the argument in the blogosphere, but ultimately their candidate lost the election, not to mention the good will of potential supporters. Pyrrhic victory.
You win elections by addition, not subtraction. Angle supporters who prefer to argue with, browbeat and insult Republicans and like-minded conservatives who raise legitimate, unanswered questions about electability aren’t doing their candidate any favors. Turning what could/should be natural allies into enemies is, well, dumb.
Because of Harry Reid’s sky-high negatives, it’s absolutely possible for Sharron Angle to beat him in November. But you don’t become Senate Majority Leader by being a political fool and laying down for your opposition. Happy talk about Harry “waterboarding the economy” and Mary Poppins optimism aren’t going to cut it for Angle. The only thing that will win the day is solid “strategery,” almost flawlessly executed.
To beat Harry Reid, Sharron Angle is going to need all GOP hands on deck. She’s not there yet. And support from Republicans who backed other candidates in the primary isn’t an entitlement for the winner no matter how much the winner’s supporters may think it should be.
Do you Angle supporters want to win the argument or win the election?
If you want to win the argument, go right ahead and tell the world how stupid those of us are who aren’t yet convinced Sharron can win in November. Go ahead. But if you want to win the election; if you want more than “lip service” support from skeptical GOP voters, you’re going to have to get it the old-fashioned way.