Sharron Angle has jumped into the GOP senatorial primary in the Silver State, but she faces a steep road to the 2016 nomination after her dismal election-day performance in 2010.
In 2010, Angle rode a Tea Party wave to win the Nevada Republican Senate primary and the right to challenge one of the GOP’s top targets, then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
But Angle failed to take down Reid, even though 2010 is remembered for big Tea Party-fueled wins across the country, including wins by Mike Lee in Utah and Marco Rubio in Florida.
This time around, in 2016, Reid is retiring, and his seat is one of the few opportunities for Republicans to pick up a Democratic seat and reinforce their majority in the U.S. Senate.
The map in 2016 looks tough for Republicans, with close races expected in New Hampshire, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Florida. Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) all face tough Democratic candidates. In Florida, Rubio has abandoned his Senate post for a now-failed presidential bid, leaving the Sunshine State as an open seat.
Angle, who recently just announced her Nevada candidacy, isn’t getting the love from Tea Party groups this cycle though. Many of them are remaining neutral.
The current favored-to-win candidate in the GOP primary is Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV). On the Democratic side, the current favored-to-win candidate is Nevada’s former Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto. Reid has endorsed Cortez Masto in the race.
In the GOP primary, the Tea Party Express is sitting on the sidelines after favoring Angle in 2010.
“Nevada is a must win for us,” the group known for its nationwide Tea Party bus tours and rallies said in a statement to Breitbart News. “And as always, we try to identify the strongest conservative that can win in November. We still have several months until the primary and since the race is still evolving, we haven’t made any decisions yet.”
Back in 2010, Tea Party Express spent about half a million dollars helping Angle in the primaries—playing a decisive role in supporting her then. Their less-than-enthusiastic statement about her entry in the 2016 primary isn’t a positive sign for Angle.
FreedomWorks, another organization that spent about $300,000 on Angle in 2010, told Breitbart News it doesn’t expect to endorse in the Nevada GOP senatorial primary. “We do not anticipate endorsing in the Nevada Senate race,” FreedomWorks said in a statement. “We’re concentrating our resources on defending the House Freedom Caucus and a few Senate races, including Mike Lee in Utah.”
Western Representation PAC, which was started in 2010 specifically to help defeat Reid and which spent more than a hundred thousand dollars in that effort, also said it won’t be backing Angle again.
“We’ve supported Congressmen Heck in his previous races and are supporting him again,” Western Representation PAC said in a statement to Breitbart News. “After Sharron’s last run we don’t have confidence that she can win another election in Nevada. While we aren’t thrilled with Congressman Heck’s voting record we know him to be a serious and competent representative of a state as diverse as Nevada. After he is elected we will continue to urge him to make conservative votes on critical issues.”
Angle did not respond to requests for comments.
DISCLOSURE: Dustin Stockton founded Western Representation PAC with his father in 2009, and his father still runs the organization. He also worked for Tea Party Express in the 2010 GOP primary, aiding Angle in the race in Nevada.