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Tea Party Choice Scrambles in Taking On Reid in Nevada

• Adan Nagourney via The New York Times
NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Sharron Angle leaned across a table in her campaign office here, defending her suddenly embattled campaign to defeat Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic majority leader, under the gaze of a half-dozen advisers and an official videographer packed into the room.

“We always have known that this was going to be a close race,” Ms. Angle said in a rare interview. “Senator Reid has never just given up the fight, you know? He has always been a tough opponent.”

But after a year in which Mr. Reid has been at the top of every list of endangered Democrats — there is no one Republicans would like more to unseat — Mr. Reid sees a lifeline in Ms. Angle, a former state assemblywoman who, with the backing of the Tea Party, overcame a field of establishment Republicans to win the party’s nomination.

Since Ms. Angle won, her campaign has been rocked by a series of politically intemperate remarks and awkward efforts to retreat from hard-line positions she has embraced in the past, like phasing out Social Security. There have also been a staff shake-up and run-ins with Nevada journalists, including one in which a television reporter chased her through a parking lot trying to get her to answer a question.

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