The Comeback of Harry Reid

Following the decision by Republican Sue Lowden to make her campaign about bartering chickens for healthcare, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided he, too, should make his campaign about healthcare -- though reform for the 21st century rather than reform for the 19th century. Drawing a clear contrast, Reid went on the air touting his support for the healthcare reform legislation passed this year and signed into law by President Obama.

Lo and behold, the strategy has paid major dividends for Reid, as evidenced by the latest Research 2000 polling on the race (with results from April and January listed):

Harry Reid (D) 42 (41, 42)
Sue Lowden (R): 38 (45, 51)

Not only has Reid taken the lead away from Lowden, he has also jumped into the lead against the other Republican candidates in the race, Sharron Angle and Danny Tarkanian. So as it turns out -- and this isn't too great of a surprise -- it appears the Beltway prognosticators were exceedingly hasty in proclaiming the demise of Harry Reid.

Tags: NV-Sen, Senate 2010, Harry Reid, Sue Lowden, hcr, healthcare reform, Bartering, chickens (all tags)



RE: The Comeback of Harry Reid

The best part is that the included TP candidate isn't even a spoiler - add his numbers to the GOP numbers and Reid still wins all three matchups. Word.

by Nathan Empsall 2010-06-03 04:57PM | 0 recs
Harry Reid is Toast

Or so said some notworthy bloggers a few months ago. I won't mention any names ;)

It is good to hear from you again, and with such good news. He didn't survive in politics that long and make it allo the way to Senate Majority Leader by beeing a fool.


by NoFortunateSon 2010-06-03 06:03PM | 0 recs
I don't mean to be a debby downer...

but since when is a long-time incumbent running in an anti-incumbent year "coming back" when he's topping out at 42% in a state Obama won with 55% of the vote?  I hope you're right and I'm wrong, but I still think Harry Reid is toast.

by Vox Populi 2010-06-03 08:20PM | 0 recs
42 (41, 42)

Have to agree with Vox here, an incumbent polling at 41-42 for three polls in a row hardly signals a revival of his chances.


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided he, too, should make his campaign about healthcare... Reid went on the air touting his support for the healthcare reform legislation passed this year and signed into law by President Obama.

Which did nothing for his numbers.

All the poll signals is that the Republicans are killing each-other in a primary there.

But you can look at the incumbent Blanche Lincoln polling at 43-44 to see where that got her in the actual percentage of votes in the primary. Any incumbent polling below 50 is in dangerous territory.

The bigger story I took away from the recent polling is that Lowden seems very unlikley for the moment to win the primary. And yet she is the most 'electable' by the former polls anyway. And Sharron Angle is now surging, but has she peaked?  That is what Reid is happy about-- she is beatable.

I'm hoping its not Danny Tarkanian that gets the nod, he's been in second all along, and has better GE potential.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-06-03 08:46PM | 0 recs
RE: The Comeback of Harry Reid

No, Reid isn't over that magic 50 percent, but he's in better shape than he was.

by spirowasright 2010-06-04 12:13AM | 0 recs
Good news

Reid is still in trouble but I think it is ridiculous to claim that he is "toast" or that he has no shot.  Reid has a very strong political machine and I am not sure Angle is even electable.

by Steve M 2010-06-04 12:18AM | 1 recs
Neither toast nor cake

But you'd have to say this is at least a toss-up now, which is a long recovery from where he was before HCR passed.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-06-04 11:45PM | 0 recs
Good news?

     Reid hasn't moved at all: it's just that his opposition is weaker. But even that shows Reid's underlying weakness, as he has been unable to capitalize on his opponents' problems to improve his own numbers, as might have been expected.

     I still think it would be best for the Democratic party and the progressive movement to have Reid replaced as Senate Majority Leader, and the only way that seems likely to happen is if Reid loses his seat.

      But I agree with others that Reid still has a chance to win.


by Ron Thompson 2010-06-04 12:07PM | 0 recs
Reid's campaing advantages

Back a few months ago I posted a comment in a thread on this race saying that the horserace polls were misleading for several reasons. I am not writing to say "I told you so" but rather to say that those underlying structural factors are still more important than the poll #s. Those factors include

1. Reid's political organization which is not merely a big pile of money. Nor is it merely a lot of precinct captains banging on doors, though I'm sure we'll see that in the fall.


Its been building on the existing Dem party structure by developing its own outreach to issue groups, professional organizations, civic groups, and so on and then providing favorable communication to reach folks in these groups on issues of concern to them.


This is not rocket science but the Reid campaign is doing more of it, earlier and more thoroughly, than anything thats been done in this state since at least the 07 presidential primary and really much better than that.

One bit of evidence as to how well this worked; when certain bloggers on other sites were writing about how there would be progressive challengers in the primary, the leading progressive groups in the state were organizing Progressives for Reid. So when Reid does things progressives like, such as lead the health bill through the Senate, that message gets out quickly and from reliable voices to the people who are likely to be mobilized by it.

This fall there's not going to be a civic, professional, issue-oriented or other group in the state that isn't going to have a Reid-sympathetic part of its membership working in an organized way to educate the rest of its membership about his work on issues of importance to that group.

This is really going to matter in this state more than others because of the massive foreclosure/ distressed homeowner/ abandoned homes problem which is going to make all legacy voter lists, including the Democratic VAN, much "dirtier" than would ordinarily be the case at this point in a cycle.

2. The Republicans are moving in the opposite direction. Their infrastructre is a shambles -- they just elected their third state chair this year and they have no office b/c their budget won't allow it. I can't say this for sure but I'd be stunned if there is any sort of reliable voter list at all, let alone one that has had any sort of scrubbing of abandoned addresses or any sort of flagging by issues.
Or any sort of outreach beyond the usual and used-up ones of AM radio, gun clubs, Ron Paul/Tea Party cells, and some churches.

And not all of those folks are going to be happy with their nominee, whomever it is, given the hostility of the primary.

In other words, the things that matter to folks who read a blog like MYDD are the things that will give Reid a big advantage in the voter identification, persuasion and mobilization stages of the campaign.

This leads to the reason why ...

3. The collapse of Sue Lowden is such an important development. She's really the only one, due to her personal wealth and her land-developer-husband's business connections, who could put together any sort of resources necessary to broadcast enough to overcome the lack of any sort of up-to-date voter targeting. In other words, the way to beat what I described above is to have a message environment so favorable that none of the stuff I wrote above matters.

Angle will do great at communicating her message to those supporters who are ready to receive it -- mostly hard-line right-wingers in CD-3 (Washoe and rurals, where a plurality of hard-line right-wingers reside). But Angle is not going to have the same level of knee-jerk support from Nevada's own version of Fox News, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which continues to do all it can to try to push the nomination to Lowden or Tarkanian.


4. Angle is well-known kook and the establishment Republican money, nationally and in state, is going to find other outlets.

5. In any event, there's simply not enough hard-line right-wing voters to win if any GOP nominee gets wiped out by Obama-like proportions in Cd-1 and Cd-2.

Which would have seemed very unlikely given Reid's very un-Obama-like levels of support among high-performance Democratic constituencies a few months ago. But a combination of the advertising noted in the main post, the sort of outreach I described above, and a general abhorrence by those same constituencies of a candidate who openly opposes Social Security and Medicaid (ie Angle) is going to generate, more than likley, the sorts of margins from Democratic-leaning and up-for-grabs voters which can neutralize and offset even an energized hard-line right-wing portion of the electorate.

6. Finally I think the presence of his son on the ticket as the Gov nominee against a strong Republican candidate in Sandoval may provide an "outlet valve" for Democratic or NP voters who want to "send a message" to the political establishment. They can send their anti-incumbent message and still vote for Harry Reid.

So yes its all good news for Reid's re-election. He may still have a lot of work to do to win over moderate to conservative voters with D or NP registrations but the underlying structure of the race continues to favor him much more than horserace polls reveal.

by desmoulins 2010-06-06 07:45PM | 0 recs


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