Fresh from the campaign trail during recess, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, continues to struggle in his re-election bid against Republican Sharron Angle. When asked by a Capitol Hill reporter on Tuesday why Ms. Angle is running “neck and neck” to him in the race, he only answered, “I’m not beginning to get into the of the polls. I’m satisfied I can get one of the finest pollsters in America, Mark Mehlman. I’m satisfied where I am in the polls today.”
It is hardly surprising Mr. Reid, a well known and powerful Nevada politician, does not want to give a clearer answer than that today. Reuters is reporting the following:
Among America’s most powerful politicians, Reid finds himself locked in a close contest at home, leading 46 percent to 44 percent among likely voters over Sharron Angle, a former substitute schoolteacher who was almost unknown until several months ago.
The report continues:
The sputtering U.S. economy is far and away the most important issue in Nevada, with 76 percent of those surveyed citing it as an important topic and only 20 percent saying Nevada is heading in the right direction.
Nevada’s jobless rate in July was 14.3 percent — much higher than the national figure — and the state has suffered from home foreclosures and bankruptcies.
Reid has been the lead advocate in the Senate for Obama’s ambitious agenda, including policies that are not viewed favorably by many Americans, such as the healthcare overhaul and $814 billion economic stimulus plan.
Among registered voters, Reid is seen as better than Angle on a range of qualities. By a 48 percent to 37 percent margin, Reid is seen as someone who “understands the economic issues Nevada faces.” A 56-30 percent margin said he is “the best person to help generate jobs in Nevada.”
But the poll also found that registered voters believe Reid, by a 47 percent to 33 percent margin, is “part of the problem with politics right now in this country.” Among likely voters the margin on this issue widened to 53-29 percent.
Not exactly something Senator Reid and his team can crow about, but Ms. Angle needs to play her cards right as well, because Nevada voters still seem skittish, and it is up to her campaign to bring out voters who may not have come out before or in a long time.