Laura Myers at Las Vegas Review-Journal:
U.S. Sen. Harry Reid has opened a strong lead over Republican opponent Sharron Angle after pummeling her in a ubiquitous TV and radio ad campaign that portrays the Tea Party favorite as “too extreme,” according to a new poll for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The Democratic incumbent’s aggressive strategy of attacking Angle’s staunch conservative views from the moment she won the June 8 primary has cost her support among every voter group — from men and women to both political parties and independents — in vote-rich Clark and Washoe counties.
He’s had five perfect weeks,” said Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, which conducted the survey. “The race has been all about her, and he’s been doing a good job of pounding her.”
Yet Coker said it’s too soon to write off Angle. More than one-quarter of the nonpartisan swing voters who probably will decide the Nov. 2 election haven’t jumped to the still-unpopular Reid but instead are undecided or in the “other” or “none of these candidates” columns, the poll showed.
“I wouldn’t write her obituary just yet,” Coker said, noting it’s a long way to November. “Three and a half months is a lifetime, and at some point she’s going to be able to start fighting back.”
The Mason-Dixon poll showed that if the general election were held now, Reid would win 44 percent to 37 percent for Angle. Ten percent were undecided, 5 percent would choose “none of these candidates,” and the remaining 4 percent would pick another candidate on the ballot.
Jim Geraghty at NRO:
The only silver lining for fans of Angle is that Reid is only at 44 percent, one point over his previous high. That’s still pretty lousy for a well-known incumbent.
Earlier in the week, after I mentioned some Republican grumbling about Angle, a reader wrote in:
We’ve tried for years with Collinses and Hatches and McCains and Snowes and a host of others who fear their fate too much. Isn’t it time to put it unto the touch? With Angle, a win’s a win. With the kind of candidates you’re advocating, a win is still a loss.
This is all moot, but neither Sue Lowden nor Danny Tarkanian is comparable to a Collins or a Snowe, or even a McCain or a Hatch, I would argue. And if Harry Reid wins, it’s a loss for conservatives. Period.
Neil Stevens at Redstate:
In the runup to the Nevada GOP primary, Mason-Dixon and the Las Vegas Review-Journal understated Sharron Angle’s support by 8 points, and cut her 14 point win almost in half to 8.
Now the pair releases their first post-primary poll. Are they gauging Angle’s support accurately this time?
I have to question whether they are. This poll only shows Angle getting 70% of Republicans versus Harry Reid’s 80% of Democrats. That plus Reid’s slim 37-35 (MoE 4) lead among Independents, gives Reid an overall 44-37 advantage in the poll.
The 44 for Reid is slightly higher than his trend in recent months, but is not unreasonable. The 37 for Angle, though, is abnormal. If we look back at the Real Clear Politics trend, Angle has only been below 40 twice: once in a fraudulent Research 2000/Daily Kos poll, and again in an earlier Mason-Dixon/Las Vegas Review-Journal poll.
I certainly don’t blame Democrats for feeling good about this result, but I would caution Republicans not to get too worried until some other pollster shows Angle dipping quite that far.
Reid has had a pretty good month in defining Angle as extreme, and Angle hasn’t helped her own cause much during that period. She has had to back away from statements about unemployment and to explain statements on Social Security. When you’re explaining, you’re playing defense, and Reid put her in that position by flooding the airwaves.
However, a couple of bright spots can be found. First, Angle had a good fundraising quarter and finally has cash in the bank. Most importantly, even though she bled voters in almost every category, they didn’t go to Reid. He’s still only getting 44% of the vote, far below the 50% threshold an incumbent needs to be safe in this climate. For the moment, voters don’t have to pull the lever for Angle, and she has three months to define herself rather than allow Reid to do it for her. If 56% of the voters don’t want Reid, that shouldn’t be a difficult sell for Angle, but she has to step up her game now and avoid any further mistakes.
Corruptocrat Harry Reid spent big lobbyist money he’s been raising and using to sell out his state for years to take an early lead over Sharron Angle. Meanwhile, Angle’s own fundraising is starting to kick in big. If you had a choice between leading in July, or November, which would you choose?
Reid will try to take a lead, as he has, and hold on to it. He has the corruptocrat cash to take that approach. But this tells us nothing about what will happen when Angle starts to punch back. And punch she must.
As long as her campaign structure is on top of it, I see no real reason for concern here at this point. This is purely indicative of the kind of advantage Reid always had going in. Given his barrage, it’s notable the numbers aren’t worse than this, what with his unopposed ad buys – unopposed for now, not for the fall when it actually counts.
Sharron Angle isn’t dead, of course. She could still pull off a win, but it’s going to be a lot tougher than it appeared to be in the immediate aftermath of her primary victory. Once again, it appears that Harry Reid has gotten exactly the Republican opponent he’d want in a year like this.
UPDATE: Jon Ralston at the Las Vegas Sun
UPDATE #2: Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo