Mild about Harry

The state flag of Nevada  bears these words: Battle Born–a phrase that seems quite appropriate for the upcoming campaign for U.S. Senator from this state.

It wasn’t that long ago that many political pundits had Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) dead and buried. High unemployment, a rapidly growing Tea Party Movement and Reid’s leadership in passing such Big Government issues as health-care reforms had the four-term senator down by double digits in the polls. But Republican challenger Sharron Angle has seemingly allowed Senator Reid up off the mat.

The firebrand Angle has been criticized for leading a lackluster campaign that has featured politically risky positions on Social Security, pulling the plug on the U.S. Education Department, and approval of nuclear waste processing in Nevada–not a real solid platform to win the hearts and minds of local voters. Democrats have torn into her like gamblers at a free buffet, and they can do it early and often with Reid’s sizable war chest and inexpensive TV time available in the Sagebrush State. The turnaround in Senator Reid’s fortunes are dramatic–but have clearly not yet resulted in a lock on re-election.

For such a powerful and well-healed figure, Reid’s numbers (in this and other polls) are milquetoast at best. Nevada voters seem dissatisfied with their choices, and a 4.5 point lead at this juncture probably only moves this race from a loss for Democrats to a tossup. And since the main point in this Quick-Shot Series of polls is to measure where Independent voters are heading, let’s take a look at the results:

Mild about Harry

Date of Poll: 8/4/2010
Participants: 1,070 registered voters
Margin of Error: ±2.99%
 TotalDemocratRepublicanIndependent
SENATE CHOICE
(D) Harry Reid45.60%78.97%15.55%32.28%
(R) Sharron Angle41.00%12.47%71.34%47.02%
Other/Unsure13.41%8.56%13.11%20.70%

Like many other states, Independents seem to be turning toward the GOP in Nevada. But unlike many other races we’ve polled, the Democrat incumbent is getting the nod from more than 15% of the Republican voters. Published polls show both candidates with a high percentage of the electorate who view them in an unfavorable light, and the mud that’s flying there isn’t going to help either one out.

Battle Born indeed.

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