LAS VEGAS (AP) - A statewide poll says Sharron Angle appears to hold a clear lead in the U.S. Senate Republican primary.
The poll for the Las Vegas Review-Journal indicates the Tea Party candidate is favored to win Tuesday's primary, although pollsters also found that Danny Tarkanian would have a slightly better chance than Angle to beat Democratic incumbent Harry Reid if the election were to be held now.
According to the poll, 32 percent of voters surveyed last week said they would vote for Angle, a former Reno assemblywoman.The poll says 24 percent said they would vote for Tarkanian and 23 percent said they favored former front-runner Sue Lowden.
And 13 percent said they were still undecided, leaving Tuesday's primary still open.
"Angle is the favorite at this point, but I wouldn't say it's a done deal," pollster Brad Coker told the Review-Journal for a story published Sunday. "She's got the momentum, but there's still 13 percent on the table."
Mason-Dixon Polling & Research of Washington, D.C., conducted the telephone survey Tuesday through Thursday. Results were based on a survey of 500 registered GOP primary voters who said they were likely to go to the polls. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
Two weeks ago, Lowden and Angle were in a statistical dead heat at around 30 percent according to a Mason-Dixon poll last month.
A survey taken by Mason-Dixon in early April showed Lowden, a former Nevada Republican Party chairwoman and the GOP establishment pick, with a far-in-front lead at 45 percent, followed by Tarkanian at 27 percent and Angle at 5 percent.
The earlier polls were taken before Angle won the endorsement of the national Tea Party Express, which poured $500,000 into campaign ads to promote her as the most conservative Republican in the race.
The Angle campaign dismissed the argument that she can't beat Reid in the general election.
"They've been saying that conservatives have too narrow a base to win since Ronald Reagan," Angle campaign spokesman Larry Hart said. "So it's never been true. Primaries are supposed to show who has the best campaign. And the best candidate is the one who wins."