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Nevada Senate nominee Angle keeps low profile at Capitol

Former Nevada state Assemblywoman Sharron Angle made her first trip to the Senate after winning the GOP nomination for the right to face Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this fall.

If the query on this November's ballot was whether to replace Reid, there is little doubt what the outcome would be. Nevada polls show that well over half of the state's recession-battered voters have soured on the Democrat, who has served four terms in the Senate. As a result, he has tried to direct attention away from himself and make the race about Angle, a conservative whose anti-government stands on issues -- she has said she would do away with Social Security and shut down the Department of Education -- are easy to caricature in attack ads.

In the primary, Angle was assisted by more than $400,000 in independent funding from the Tea Party Express and $475,000 from the conservative organization Club for Growth. But with just two full-time staff members (neither of whom returned phone calls for this article) and a handful of part-time consultants, her campaign was ill-equipped to do battle with Reid.

In the final days before the primary, she declined to tell local reporters where she would appear in public. And shortly after she won, her campaign Web site was scrubbed of her policy positions -- which reappeared only after the media took notice.

She has since hired the Indiana new media firm Prosper Group, which helped Scott Brown pull of his Massachusetts Senate win in January. And on Wednesday, she is expected to visit with potential GOP donors.

By the end of her visit to the Capitol, the buzz about her silence had grown so loud that Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.), chairman of the NRSC, felt compelled to come to her defense. He promised that Angle would grant "complete, 100 percent access" to the media in a few weeks, and acknowledged that she is not prepared for the enormous attention she has received, saying: "I don't think anybody would be prepared for a race where 20 or 30 million dollars is going to be spent in negative advertising."

Staff writer Paul Kane contributed to this report.

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