In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Angling For The Win: Tea Party-Backed Candidate To Face Reid

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Newscom

Angle's surge to the nomination was almost as spectacular as Lowden's fall from grace. The former state GOP chair, Lowden was cruising in the polls until she decided to advocate for a return to the barter system to pay for health care.

Meanwhile, Tarkanian -- son of former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian -- struggled in the polls throughout the race. Tarkanian had a tea party backing of his own, enjoying the endorsement of the Tea Party Nation group. But that didn't materialize into the hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising Angle's supporters put on the air for her.

Angle is more than just a tea party surrogate, of course. She barely lost a 2006 GOP primary for Congress, running on many of the same positions she's running on now.

As for Reid, polls show him tied with Angle for now. The TPM Poll Average for the general election fight shows Angle ahead by a slim margin of 43.0-41.3.