With the polls virtually tied in Nevada, GOP Senate hopeful Sharron Angle is set to pick up a major GOP endorsement: As the National Review's Elizabeth Crum first reported, Arizona Sen. John McCain will campaign with Angle at a rally in Las Vegas on Friday night.
The '08 GOP presidential candidate is perhaps the biggest party figure to date to appear with Angle. Over the summer, Angle shared a stage with Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, though that was at a Nevada state GOP event, not an Angle rally. Though Angle has picked up the endorsements of GOP notables, including McCain's '08 running mate Sarah Palin, the Nevada GOP hopeful hasn't actually campaigned with many national Republicans. That's in spite of the fact that the party is betting millions to help her defeat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Polls show Angle and Reid still in a dead heat heading into the final weekend of the campaign. A new CNN/ Time poll found Angle narrowly leading Reid among likely voters, 49 percent to 45 percent. That's within the poll's margin of error.
On the surface, McCain and Angle would seem an odd coupling. The Arizona senator spent more than $20 million to fend off a bid a challenge by former Rep. J.D. Hayworth in the state's GOP primary. Hayworth's bid was fueled, in part, by the same tea party factions that helped Angle claim the GOP nomination in Nevada.
On the issues, Angle has made immigration a focus of her campaign to defeat Reid, but even though McCain moved to the right on the issue during this campaign, that hasn't helped him with some conservatives, who continue to trash the senator as a flip-flopper on the issue.
Yet with his own re-election seemingly safe, McCain has taken a high-profile role on the campaign trail in recent weeks, actively campaigning against Barbara Boxer in California and Patty Murray in Washington. He also spoke out against Democrat Joe Manchin's candidacy in West Virginia. But the Nevada race may be the most personal.
While Reid and McCain used to be quite friendly—even attending boxing matches together in Las Vegas—the two have clashed repeatedly in recent years. Reid was an outspoken critic of McCain during the '08 presidential election—something the Arizona senator took very personally, an aide said at the time. More recently, the two have clashed over Senate efforts on immigration reform and Democratic efforts to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" ban on gays serving openly in the military.
(Photo of McCain: Eric Thayer/Getty Images)