Given the gift of an opponent who's even more unpopular than him, Harry Reid leads Sharron Angle 48-46 in the Nevada Senate race. When PPP last looked at the state in January Reid trailed Sue Lowden by ten points.
Reid continues to have upside down approval numbers, but they've improved over the last six months. 44% of voters in the state like the job he's doing while 53% disapprove. That's a good deal better than earlier in the year when his approval was only 36% and 58% gave him bad marks. Since then Democratic voters have really rallied back around Reid and independents have softened in their feelings toward him as well. Reid's approval spread within his party is 80/14, compared to 67/27 over the winter. With independents he's still pretty unpopular at 38/60 but that's much improved from the prior standing of 24/68. Certainly the Republicans nominating Angle is the biggest reason this race is competitive again, but Reid's personal resurgence shouldn't be overlooked either.
Only 36% of voters in the state have a favorable opinion of Angle, while 52% see her negatively. 50% consider her political views to be 'extremist' while 39% label them as 'mainstream.' Earlier this year Reid was bleeding a lot of Democratic support and getting absolutely crushed with independents but voter uneasiness about Angle's ideology has caused big shifts on both of those fronts. Where Lowden had led Reid 62-27 with independents, Angle has only a 51-41 advantage. Where Lowden had held Reid to a 75-17 lead with Democratic voters, Angle's nomination has allowed him to expand that to 85-10.
Certainly this is very much a tossup race, but given where Reid stood six months ago it's hard to believe this now makes three polls in the last week where he's held the lead. It should be a tightly contested race right on through November.
Full results here