LAS VEGAS — Nevada's largest newspaper has endorsed Republican Sharron Angle's bid for U.S. Senate against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The endorsement Sunday from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, an influential newspaper that has pounded on Reid and praised Angle, was not unexpected.
In its endorsement, the newspaper deemed the election a clear choice between Angle, who supports limited government, and what it described as Washington's big spending and partisan bickering.
"The Obama playbook — to which Sen. Reid hitched his fortunes — has failed miserably," the editorial states.
A recent poll from the newspaper shows Reid and Angle tied with 43 percent support.
"We are very pleased to have the endorsement and it's another sign of Sharron gaining momentum at the most important time in this campaign. The choice is clear and Nevadans are not going to choose a failure like Harry Reid," Angle spokesman Jarrod Agen wrote in a statement to The Associated Press.
The race has played out in a fit of savage attack ads, with Reid dubbing Angle "crazy" and "too extreme." Angle has portrayed Reid as out of the mainstream, and called him the best friend of illegal immigrants.
Reid spokesman Jon Summers said the endorsement was not a surprise.
"The Review-Journal, and its publisher specifically, have been attacking Sen. Reid for a long time now; so, when their first choice, Sue Lowden, lost the Republican primary, they were forced to get behind Angle even though they know she won't win and would be a terrible representative for Nevada," Summers said in an e-mail to the AP. "The truth is that Nevadans are rejecting Angle's agenda to kill Social Security, privatize the VA, and eliminate the Department of Education."
The editorial says Reid's survival depends on damaging Angle's credibility.
"In fact, Ms. Angle is well within the mainstream on most issues and embraces a political philosophy popular with millions of Americans who are making themselves heard this election cycle," the editorial says. "Ms. Angle sees government expanding to meddle in virtually every aspect of our lives and she stands up to say enough is enough."
The conservative-leaning Review-Journal endorsed Reid in 2004, when he faced underdog Republican opponent Richard Ziser.