For a candidate many Democrats dismiss as a "whackjob," Sharron Angle is doing remarkably well in the run-up to the midterm elections. The Nevada Republican and Tea Party favorite raised an "eye-popping" $14 million from July to September, and some polls now put her ahead of her opponent, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Angle's campaign has been beset by controversies, from an alleged attempt to strike a shady deal with a third party candidate, to her suggestion that "Second Amendment remedies" might fix the Congress. What is behind Angle's rising popularity? (Watch Angle speak a recent campaign event)

Blind hatred of Harry Reid: This has nothing to do with Angle, says Jon Ralston at the Las Vegas Sun, and everything to do with the "hatred that courses through the American electorate" for Harry Reid and the Democrats. Many of the 161,358 people who sent Angle checks over the summer probably "have no idea" about her unconventional policies. They just want to get rid of Reid.
"The blind hate that is financing Sharron Angle's run"

Reid's bungling makes Angle look good: Harry Reid has run a poor campaign, says Allysia Finley at The Wall Street Journal. Rather than "trying to savage Angle's image," he has attempted to rehabilitate his own — using his Senate position to kill GOP bills and introduce a "divisive" immigration law in a "naked attempt" to woo Latino voters. That has only drawn attention to his role as a Washington insider and Obama advocate, turning the race into a "Harry Reid referendum."
"Harry Reid's race to the bottom"

The money may not mean much: Angle's "stupendous gusher of cash" is certainly impressive, says Peter Grier at The Christian Science Monitor. But "we don't yet know how much it cost Angle to raise that money" — expensive direct-mail efforts will cut into the total. Besides, money "does not guarantee political victory." Rick Lazio raised $40 million in New York in 2000, and still lost to Hillary Clinton. This race is still wide open.
"Sharron Angle raises $14 million. Should we be impressed?"