By the time Sharon Angle conceded to returning Senator Harry Reid, well past midnight, her victory party at the Venetian's ballroom had thinned out to a couple hundred diehards: bleary staffers, despondent volunteers, long-time (Republican) party contributors. Noticeably absent were the tea partiers. At the beginning of the night and throughout the campaign, they were easy to spot: they are a dustier sort of Republican, outfitted in jeans, zany political shirts and always gripping signs with slogans like “Trust God Not Government.” After the Las Vegas Sun called the race in favor of Reid at 9:43 p.m., nearly all had disappeared. Except one.
Posted inside all the phonebank cubbies at Sharron Angle's Las Vegas headquarters, there’s a sheet that instructs her volunteers how to deal with anyone who has questions regarding Sharron Angle's relationship to the Mormon Church. This is because Angle's pastor has denounced the LDS Church—of which her opponent, Harry Reid, is a member—as a "cult." So concerned people are to be given the number of a "well known leader" and "Friend." I called to speak with this former bishop of the LDS church.
I spent yesterday at Sharron Angle for Senate Campaign Headquarters, in a strip mall in northern Las Vegas. The phonebank volunteers were targeting likely Angle supporters in rural parts of the state to take advantage of early voting, which ended last night. Most of my fellow volunteers (I was, I believe, the only fake volunteer) were over fifty—with the exception of Summer and Jordan, two bubbly seventeen-year-olds who both had family in the military—and white and not originally from Nevada. By coincidence, the three women in my adjoining cubby were from all from Pennsylvania, having moved to Nevada after their children were grown. The ladies, with their various shades [...]
After John McCain closed out the Sharron Angle rally on Friday, her campaign coordinators played a bit of amateur propaganda. Pictures of foreclosed houses, stock photos of agonized couples looking at stacks of unpaid bills, a chart of unemployment rates, all flashing by quickly to a soaring soundtrack. At the crescendo of all this pictorial despair appeared the image of First Lady Michelle Obama. In it she is reclining on a beige chaise lounge in a sleeveless violet dress, one hand cupped along the side of her neck, revealing her diamond wedding ring that matches her teardrop diamond earrings, and above her is the big word Vogue, the [...]
If there’s anything that could save Harry Reid from getting ousted by Sharron Angle on Tuesday, it would be his campaign’s ability to run a competitive ground game: tight coordination of precinct canvassing, disciplined phone banking, targeted literature distribution, quality control over hundreds of volunteers and—above all—clean, up-to-date voter lists.
Based on what I saw yesterday at Democratic Party headquarters in Las Vegas, it’s not happening for Harry Reid.
An hour into today's rally for Democratic candidates, and two-thirds of the gymnasium at Canyon Springs High School is full. Representatives Dina Titus and Shelley Berkley have each gotten up and announced that we are in attendance at not just a Michelle Obama appearance but also we are at the "largest phonebank in the history of the world!!!" They also suggested we take out our "cellulars to call someone so we can be the largest phonebank ever!!!"