Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Reid holds slight lead

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


Anonymous said...

Christian Liberty! If America wants conservative, why is Reid suddenly back into the lead?

Did you check the crosstabs? Angle's approval among Independents is 36/50. But she does lead among them

LALaw said...

I wouldn't be surprised if it's not a larger lead since PPP only calls landlines, not cell phones. This would make a huge difference in a state like Nevada, especially with all of the casino, restaurant, nightclub and entertainment workers, who I would be don't have landlines (I'm a mid-30s attorney, don't have a landline and neither do most of my colleagues). Maybe that accounts for the fact that Obama voters are only +4 points in this poll, but Obama won the state by 11 points.

DBL said...

George Bush won this state by 3% when the electorate was 39% Republican and 36% Democratic. Last year it was 38% Democratic and 30% Republican.

PPP uses "Likely Voters." We know that off year elections get about 75% of the Presidential vote count. So many of those people won't vote this year.

We also know that people who didn't vote in the Presidential election will vote. Especially all those Republicans who stayed home in 2008. I wouldn't expect even a +4 on Obama voters.

JCordes said...

DBL, McCain earned the third-highest vote count of any U.S. presidential candidate in history, and highest-ever for a losing candidate. What makes you think there were significant numbers of Republican non-voters in 2008, much less enough of them that will vote in 2010 to swing Nevada by as much as you say?

Unknown said...

Based on the crosstabs and CNN Exit polls:
If this election has a similar partisan breakdown to 2008, Reid will win by 4%.
If this election has a similar partisan breakdown to 2004, Angle will win by 3%.

Anonymous said...

Nevada polls should also include "None Of The Above" as a choice. It's on the Nevada ballot and could be a big player this year.

NRH said...

Mid-terms are usually low points, not times when new voters show up. Arguing that Obama voters might not show up for the midterms in greater proportion than McCain voters will sit it out would be a defensible position, and one for wonderful pointless debates about what the future will hold in that regard and lots of numbers being slung back and forth about the correlation between reported enthusiasm and actual turnout. But arguing that running hard, hard to McCain's right will turn out more new Republican voters than it will lose moderates? Pretty tough claim there.

Anonymous said...

Remarkably small number of undecideds this far away from the election, no?

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed that the results are as close as PPP finds. Based on the barrage of advertising tha Sen. Reid's campaign put out on the airways, I would have expected Angle to be behind him by a minimum 5 points, or more.

This tells me that the race will end up being close one way or the other. There are probaly equal proportions of Nevadans who would *never* vote for Angle ... or Reid.

DBL said...

In 2004 nationally it was 38% Republican/38% Democratic. In 2006 it was 38% Democratic/36% Republican. In 2008 it was 39% Democratic/32% Republican. The population went up 4%, so candidates would usually expect their vote totals to go up 4%. Actual voting went up 7%. Yet McCain got 2 million less votes than Bush.

One possible explanation is that America lurched leftward. Centerists became liberals and conservatives became centerists. While this is a wonderful fantasy for Democrats, there is no supporting evidence. The elections in New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts, as well as all the polling say otherwise.

Of course if America lurched leftward you'd expect McCain to gain votes on Bush, as he's regarded as a more centrist candidate. If Bush voters voted for McCain, with the increase on both sides based on new population, McCain should've gotten 65 million votes. But he didn't. Since we pretty much know that Bush voters probably didn't defect to Obama and they didn't vote McCain, they likely stayed home.

So the 2008 election numbers were based on a surge in Democratic voters voting, independents going Democratic, and Republicans staying home. At the very least we know Republicans won't stay home this year.

Republican congressmen did even worse. They dropped 3.5 million votes, while their Democratic counterparts jumped 12.5 million votes. Such a drop is unusual when voting goes up.

In 1994 Republican congressmen got 84% of the votes they got in 1992, while Democrats only got 65%. The average is usually 72-75%. So we can assume Republicans showed up while Democrats didn't. In 2006 Democrats got 80% of their 2004 Congressional vote, while Republicans got 64%. This isn't a zero sum game, of course. So one showing up doesn't preclude the other.

McCain voters are going to be far more likely to show up.

NRH, only progressives think that Republicans running this year are hard right. In addition to polling better among independents Rand Paul is polling better than Mitch McConnell did among Democrats in Kentucky this year.

Paul is a libertarian, while Angle is a social conservative. Many of those views are opposite of each other. So how can they both be far right? If Paul or Angle lose it won't be because they were too far right, it'll be because the voters feel they aren't capable of doing the job. Both have been portrayed as "nut jobs." That might end up sticking.

Ranjit said...


If the unemployment rate in Nevada is 14% on election day or even high than 10%, trust me, Harry Reid will lose the election. Those who are skeptical about angle will come back to her. Right now, Reid had the air waves for 3 to 4 weeks without so much of Angle's commercials but they are back now and let us wait for couple of weeks before jumping into conclusion.

NRH said...

You're forgetting Rand Paul's entire primary, where he relentlessly attacked steadily-conservative Kentucky Attorney General Grayson as a 'moderate' and openly ran on the right wing in a very red state. Paul is undeniably hard right. He even referenced it in his own primary victory speech!

"People are already saying now you need to weave and dodge, now you need to switch, now you need to give up your conservative message. You need to become a moderate. You need to give up the tea party. ..."

Face it. If he were just a firmly right-wing politician, the Kentucky race would be over. Paul is too far right even for Kentucky, though. Deny it all you like, but calling to abolish federal departments, wipe out public-protecting business regulations, and make racism a free-market decision are all ideas from the far, far fringes of the right.

Captain's Review said...

First, how dumb can the voters in Nevada be. Reid is the right hand man of the Messiah. The man that has twice destroyed the meeting business in Las Vegas. Reid stands up and tells everyone that there are no illegal aliens working in construction.

And he is the second coming of the Liberal in DC.

This has to be the most hated man in the Nation next to Obama. and the Nevada Voters want him to be back in office.

With the unemployment in Nevada not getting any better, with the taxes, and direct responsibility of the economy. How can anyone expect things to improve in DC with this guy still in office.

Remember Obama helped destroy your convention business, and Reid has helped raise unemployment and the national debt.

The local dealer would make a better Senator than Reid. At least he would be trained to be honest..

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