The Tea Party movement flexed its muscle Tuesday, powering former Nevada state lawmaker Sharron Angle to victory in the state's Republican U.S. Senate primary and launching her into a high-stakes November showdown against Democrat Harry Reid, the vulnerable Senate majority leader.
With 59 of precincts reporting, Angle won 39 percent of the vote. Her Republican challengers, former state lawmaker Sue Lowden and real estate owner Danny Tarkanian, secured 28 and 23 percent of the vote, respectively.
"We have completed the first step to taking back our U.S. senate seat," Angle told supported, stressing the word "our." "We need to say to Harry Reid, you have failed and you are fired."
The three Republican candidates had competed for backing of the anti-incumbent Tea Party movement to give their candidacies a boost in Nevada, where Reid's approval rating has plummeted to 35 percent, according to a recent poll.
The Tea Party Express, one of the most visible factions of the grassroots conservative movement, officially endorsed Angle on April 15. The group, sponsored by the California-based Our Country Deserves Better PAC, has so far spent $550,000 promoting Angle's candidacy -- catapulting her approval rating from a mere 5 percent in early April to double digits.