TheDC Election Outlook: The latest in the Tea Party races

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Of the midterm races with interesting Tea Party components, here’s the latest:

Foot-in-mouth disease in Nevada Senate race

As polls show Republican Sharron Angle with a slight lead over Democratic Sen. Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, the Reno Gazette-Journal looks back on how both candidates have a propensity for verbal gaffes.

As for Reid, the Reno Gazette-Journal notes:

“Among Reid’s lapses: He recently called Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., the Senate’s “hottest member”; he referred to Delaware Democratic Senate candidate Chris Coons as ‘my pet’; he declared the Iraq war lost in 2007; he told a group of third-graders in 2005 that then-President George W. Bush was “a loser’; and he joked in 2008 that he could ‘literally smell’ the sweaty summer tourists coming into the Capitol.

Reid also apologized in January after the book ‘Game Change’ revealed private conversations during the 2008 presidential race in which Reid said candidate Barack Obama’s strengths included being ‘light-skinned’ and having ‘no Negro dialect.'”

Reid isn’t the only one saying things he later comes to regret. Angle’s been there too, the paper points out:

‘Among her most publicized pronouncements: Unemployment benefits and other government entitlement programs have “spoiled our citizenry” and made people reluctant to look for honest work. She also has said that, if elected, ‘I’m not in the business of creating jobs’ in a state with the nation’s highest unemployment rate.

At a ‘tea party’ rally last year, Angle complained about health care coverage for autism and maternity leave, saying, ‘I’m not going to have any more babies, but I sure get to pay for it on my insurance. Those are the kinds of things that we want to get rid of.’

She also appeared to raise the specter of armed insurrection in a January radio talk show interview in which she said, ‘If this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies.'”

Could Barney Frank lose?

Republican Sean Bielat won’t say he’s a “Tea Party candidate,” but the Wall Street Journal notes that the U.S. House candidate is riling Tea Partiers up and giving Frank, a Democrat, a run for his money to represent a Massachusetts congressional district that went for Republican Scott Brown earlier this year.

“I’m starting to think that people want to take this country back — that people no longer believe that the government has the answers for our betterment, that the government can tell them how they should use their money,” Bielat tells The Wall Street Journal. “People believe that they have the power to create their own opportunity, if only they are given the chance… There is so much wrong in Washington, I almost don’t know where to start.”

No Italian advantage in New York governor’s race

Tea Party favorite Carl Paladino, running for governor in New York, won’t be able to consolidate the Italian-American vote because his opponent has the same heritage, the New York Daily News points out.

Democrat Andrew Cuomo is also of Italian-American decent.

“With the gubernatorial race featuring Italian-American candidates, New Yorkers of the same descent will have to overlook ethnicity when casting their vote.

And that’s a shame, according to politicos who say that being an Italian candidate in New York can give you an edge because 15% of the people in the state have Italian ancestors.

‘It’s an interesting year because the top of the ticket for both parties is Italian-American, which means neither party has the advantage of making a particular appeal to one of the state’s largest ethnic groups,’ said Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio.”

NEXT: Fired up in Kentucky, Delaware Senate race gets SNL treatment again, and are there hicks in West Virginia?

Fired up in the Kentucky Senate race

Democratic candidate Jack Conway’s campaign touted a new poll this weekend showing him gaining ground on Tea Party-backed Republican candidate Rand Paul. The cn|2 Poll shows Paul up by 4 points over Conway.

The last statewide cn|2 Poll conducted in September showed Paul with a 5-point lead.

Meanwhile, The Daily Caller’s Jeff Winkler chased Paul down to the outskirts of Louisville, Ky., where the Republican made a quick appearance at the bi-annual Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot. “I don’t have to apologize for supporting the second amendment,” Paul said to the trigger friendly-crowd. “I support it and will continue to support it no matter what the liberals say.”

Delaware Senate race gets SNL treatment again

Republican Christine O’Donnell, running against Chris Coons in the Senate race, got the Saturday Night Live treatment again on NBC this weekend. The show spoofs O’Donnell’s recent ad that begins with the candidate telling the camera, “I’m not a witch.”

In the SNL spoof, O’Donnell says, “Isn’t that what the people of Delaware deserve? A candidate who promises first and foremost that she’s not a witch? That’s the kind of candidate Delaware hasn’t had since 1692.”

On Twitter, O’Donnell responded: “SNL skit was really funny…and I have to admit, her hair looked better than mine.”

Alabama Democrat says he won’t vote for Pelosi for House Speaker

Alabama Rep. Bobby Bright became the first Democrat to publicly say he won’t vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker.

“These parties, as they appear today, don’t do the work for the people of our country. And we have to quit electing people who religiously support the party agenda. I am ready to step out and take the lead and say enough is enough,” Bright explained to the Dothan Eagle. “I have felt this way for a while and kept wishing and hoping these leaders and parties would come together, but that is not happening.”

Bright is facing the Tea Party-backed Republican Martha Roby, a Montgomery city councilwoman.

Candidates fight over whether there are hicks in West Virginia

As polls show Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin — once thought a shoo-in to fill the late Sen. Robert Byrd’s Senate seat — trailing conservative GOPer John Raese, the campaign over the last few days has turned to a pressing issue in the state: are there really hicks in West Virginia?

“John Raese thinks we’re hicks,” Manchin said of his GOP opponent in a new ad released this weekend. “His people hired actors from Philadelphia to attack Joe Manchin and told them to dress hicky.”

Manchin’s ad is in response to a Raese ad of several men, who appeared to be blue-collar West Virginians, bashing the governor for being too close to President Obama. It later turned out that the men in the ads were Pennsylvanian actors who were told to dress “hicky.”

This is the first installment of an ongoing series about the Tea Party and the midterm elections that will appear every Monday leading up to Election Day.