For the past few days I have been listening to some very smart people debate the future of the Sharron Angle, Harry Reid race. Judging by Reid’s negatives, Angle should have a double digit lead over the Senate Majority Leader. My friend Ed Morrissey of Hot Air believes a big part of Angle’s disappointing polls so far is Harry Reid’s big war chest which has been buying tons of TV advertising positioning the GOP candidate as a right wing nut job (Angle has only recently begun TV advertising). He points to the fact that Reid has big negatives and Nevadan’s low approval of President Obama as evidence this race is not nearly over.
Disagreeing with Ed, I have taken the position that some of Angle’s slip-ups the biggest of which has been largely avoiding answering questions from the local press, have caused her poor standing in the polls. And while agreeing that the underlying numbers may show that Reid is battling much more than his own negatives (declining confidence in personal economy), Angle seems as she is not ready for “prime-time,” who may not be ready for prime time.
The latest polls show that Ed’s position is much closer to being correct. According to today’s Mason-Dixon poll, this race got much close. The economy and Angle’s recent addition of television to her marketing mix may be driving it.
The new research has Reid and Angle neck and neck. The Senate majority leader would win 43 percent and Angle 42 percent of support from likely Nevada voters if the election were held now but when you consider the 4% margin of error this is a virtual tie.
Two weeks ago the same company, Mason-Dixon had Reid ahead by 7% (44-37%). TPM reports,
“At least for the moment, she seems to have stopped the bleeding,” Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon told the Las Vegas Review Journal, which commissioned the poll. “Reid had the airwaves to himself for a while, and he drove her numbers down with the advertising. But that didn’t necessarily drive his numbers up. There hasn’t been a lot of good news to hang his hat on.“
OK Ed I will admit it. We are not Worthy!!
Thanks to the Democrat’s early attack advertising, a Rasmussen poll earlier this week reported that week Angle’s unfavorables (56%) are the same as Reid’s (55%), and now that Angle is spending TV dollars, this race should be close for the remainder of the campaign.
Also important to note, that while 58% of the Rasmussen respondents thought that Angle’s positions were extreme 50% thought that Harry Reid had extremist positions.
But the Economy may end up to be Harry Reid’s downfall, Nevada’s already record high unemployment has jumped to 14.2 percent, something Angle pointed out in her first general election TV (which also notes it was 4.4 percent when Reid became Senate majority leader five years ago).
The Rasmussen Poll also reflects Nevada voters unhappiness with the Obama agenda as 56% of Nevada voters disapprove of the job Obama is doing and 55% feel that their personal finances are getting worse.
Also interesting is that Nevada election law will allow voters to select None of the Above. In this poll 7% of voters do not want either candidate. It will be interesting to see what happens to that number if both candidates continue to run “negative’ advertising (it should jack it up).
The big lesson in the Nevada race so far is sometimes you have to believe the underlying numbers because as Yogi would say, “it aint over..till its over.”