Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Reid surges past Angle in Nevada Senate race


Jon Ralston of the Las Vegas Sun writes that "the trend is inescapable and the race’s dynamic is fundamentally altered." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, though still deeply unpopular in his home state, has taken a solid lead in recent polls over insurgent Republican challenger Sharron Angle:

"This suggests that Reid's scorched-earth strategy of dropping a ton of negative advertising on Angle -- in order to rapidly define her as extreme, dangerous and temperamentally unfit for the Senate before her campaign gets under way -- may be working," wrote Greg Sargent of The Washington Post after Friday's release of the Mason-Dixon poll in the Anglephilic Las Vegas Review-Journal.

May be working? That's like saying the attempt to Swiftboat John Kerry was mildly effective.

It has been nothing short of devastating. Angle's negatives are at Reid-like levels or thereabouts and in five weeks, Reid has done what he had to do.

Of course, it helps that Angle is in fact extreme, dangerous, and temperamentally unfit -- not to mention downright crazy. It's not like Reid is making that up, and his campaign has a lot of material to work with.

So is the race over? Ralston suggests it is, almost: "There remain many wild cards with this much time left -- a double-dip, Reid's lips, Angle's flips." And so Reid needs to keep the pressure up while also reminding voters that he has actually delivered on a number of key issues: health-care reform, Wall Street reform, etc. I've been deeply critical of him in the past -- see here, for example, on his links to the NRA -- and he's hardly the most admirable Democrat out there, but this is a race we simply cannot lose.

It was inevitable that the truth would come out, maybe, but thankfully Nevadans are finally coming to see just who the real Sharron Angle is. And that's enough, clearly, to overcome whatever reservations they may have regarding Reid. They may want to hold their noses in November, but at least he's not her.

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