Sunday, February 28, 2010

Kiss of Death: Dingy Harry Sinks in New Poll Following Obama Visit

Who could've seen this coming? Well, Jon Corzine and Martha Coakley for starters
During his whirlwind visit to Las Vegas two weeks ago, President Barack Obama mentioned U.S. Sen. Harry Reid by name four dozen times, gave him a big hug and talked him up as if he was a long-lost brother [brother? Isn't that racist?--ed.].

In remarks that could not have been more laudatory, Obama repeatedly characterized the veteran Democratic leader as a man "made of very strong stuff" who was making the right decisions for the state back in the nation's capital.

But as Reid faces an uphill path to win re-election to a fifth Senate term, Obama's enthusiastic endorsement does not appear to have improved the Senate majority leader's standing among constituents, according to a new poll conducted for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Reid got no bounce from Obama's visit on Feb. 19, when the president spoke highly of him at Green Valley High School and to business leaders at CityCenter, polling indicates.

A larger percentage of voters surveyed (17 percent) said they would be less likely to vote for Reid following the president's visit than said they would be more likely to vote for him (7 percent). Seventy-five percent said Obama's visit would have no effect on how they vote.

"Reid was not helped, and Obama was not any more popular than he was before he came to the state," said Brad Coker, managing director at Mason-Dixon Polling & Research.
Meanwhile, the Dim Bulb From Searchlight now trails GOP frontunner Sue Lowden by 13 points as he's cratered at a 33% approval. Reid also trails potential Republican challenger Danny Tarkanian by 11 points.

The only hope for Dingy Harry? Why, Nancy Pelosi's new-found friends from the Tea Party. Expect Reid to suddenly declare himself an populist.
Sue Lowden has emerged as a clear leader among Republicans fighting for the chance to run against Sen. Harry Reid this fall, according to a new poll that also shows the incumbent Democrat continues to trail against his major challengers.

But the polling done for the Las Vegas Review-Journal also shows this year's U.S. Senate race could undergo a major shake-up if a Tea Party candidate gets involved.

It would be a new ballgame, and Reid would be the big beneficiary.

A disaffected conservative running under the Tea Party banner would drain support from a Republican candidate, according to polling of a three-way contest.

In that case, Reid would draw 36 percent of voters, while the Republican nominee would get 32 percent and the Tea Party candidate 18 percent if the election were held today.
In a flight of fantasy completely ignoring Reid's dismal standing, his spokesthing desperately grasps at that silver lining.
Brandon Hall, Reid's campaign manager, said: "For the first time, the Review-Journal is releasing a poll that shows Senator Reid winning."
Hall apparently had no reaction to this news.
Reid's favorability ratings remained largely unchanged from polling a month earlier. He continues to be underwater with 33 percent of respondents having a positive view of him and 51 percent viewing him unfavorably.

The poll also shows that Lowden and Danny Tarkanian, another presumed Republican front-runner, continue to hold leads and may have widened them slightly over the past month in head-to-head matchups with Reid:

■ Lowden, a businesswoman and former state senator, bests Reid by a 52-39 percent margin if the vote were held today, according to the poll. Her lead in polling from Jan. 5-7 was 50-40.

■ Tarkanian, a Las Vegas businessman and attorney, would prevail over Reid by 51-40 percent today. In January, he held a 49-41 lead.

Coker, managing partner of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, said those changes are statistically insignificant. But he said it's worth noting that Reid continues to be stuck at around 40 percent in the matchups.
So both Lowden and Reid increased their leads over Reid and his man is gushing. Keep dreaming, Brandon.

Now while some disaffected Republicans may be inclined to go Tea Party following the GOP primary, Republicans have to look at the big picture, and that's sweeping Reid and the Senate Democrats out of power. The Nevada tea Party can live on to fight other battles. Don't lose the war while fighting your first one. Assuming Reid doesn't find the sudden urge to retire, expect him to go out ugly.
Other analysts say don't write off Reid just yet. The dynamics of the race inevitably will change once a challenger emerges from the GOP primary in June, and Reid can target his multimillion-dollar war chest, they say.

"That is going to unleash the Reid tidal wave of attacks, and that is going to be harmful" to the challenger, said Damore, the UNLV professor.

Plus, Damore said, "The Dems will be able to show something in the next six-seven months in terms of legislative accomplishments. The numbers are going to close. I think this is going to be a nail-biter."

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