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« CA Sen: Fiorina Wins, Boxer Ready | Blog Home Page | Iowa Was Establishment's Field Of Dreams »

Reid, Angle Fight Just Beginning

By Kyle Trygstad

The Nevada players are set, and for the next five months Harry Reid and Sharron Angle will be aiming directly for each other, with both looking to make the race a referendum on the other one -- Reid as the leader of the out-of-touch Democrats in Washington, and Angle as the right-wing extremist.

Thanks to dismal polling for Reid against Angle, the Senate majority leader remains one of the most vulnerable incumbent Democrats. However, the four-term senator got the opponent he wanted in the tea party-backed Angle, who's driven a wedge into the state party establishment and perhaps caused national party leaders to hold their collective breath in hopes she doesn't open her general election campaign as Rand Paul did in Kentucky.

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn told ABC News on Wednesday that he immediately reached out to Angle following her win. In a year when ties to Washington can be a detriment to a campaign, Cornyn said, candidates like Angle and Paul "may or may not want our help. But we're here if they want it. ... Winning an election is not rocket science, but it does take some discipline, it does take some organization. That's what we hope to add."

Meanwhile, the Reid campaign is wasting no time, reportedly releasing two new positive TV ads today and welcoming Bill Clinton to Las Vegas tonight for a rally. This will be Reid's third round of ads, after going on the air in October and April.

In a fundraising solicitation yesterday, campaign manager Brandon Hall wrote that Angle "makes Rand Paul look like a reasoned moderate," and that she opposes health care and Wall Street reform and "supports shipping nuclear waste to Nevada's Yucca Mountain."

Whether Angle was the preferred candidate or not, the NRSC says it fully supports her and that Reid is no less vulnerable.

"I don't think this is any day for Harry to be giddy or popping champagne corks," Cornyn told ABC. "I think he's in very deep trouble."

RCP currently rates this race a Toss Up.