NV-Sen: Reid, Other Dems Trail B-Grade Opponents in PPP Poll; SSP Moves Race to Lean R

Public Policy Polling (1/11-12, registered voters, no trend lines):

Harry Reid (D-inc): 42

Danny Tarkanian (R): 50

Undecided: 8

Harry Reid (D-inc): 41

Sue Lowden (R): 51

Undecided: 8

Shelly Berkley (D): 39

Danny Tarkanian (R): 47

Undecided: 14

Shelly Berkley (D): 38

Sue Lowden (R): 46

Undecided: 17

Oscar Goodman (D): 41

Danny Tarkanian (R): 41

Undecided: 18

Oscar Goodman (D): 42

Sue Lowden (R): 40

Undecided: 18

Ross Miller (D): 34

Danny Tarkanian (R): 45

Undecided: 22

Ross Miller (D): 34

Sue Lowden (R): 44

Undecided: 23

(MoE: ±3.6%)

Pretty ugly stuff, all around. For the Harry Reid match-ups, PPP is basically on the same page as Rasmussen and Mason-Dixon. We’ve thought long and hard about this decision, but the choice, in the end, is unavoidable: this race is no longer a tossup. Much like Chris Dodd, Reid has been spending a significant amount of money on his re-election already, and he has no positive results to show for it. Voters know Harry Reid, and they just don’t like him: his job performance rating is at a disastrous 36-58.

In our conversations with DC Democrats, they have always stressed that Harry Reid has one big advantage over his Republican opponents: he’ll have an enormous amount of money at his disposal to nuke his competition. While it’s true that Reid will have all the resources he needs (and then some), money won’t buy him love, and the usual “But the Republicans are worse!” argument (while also true) will be more likely to fall on deaf ears in races like this one where Reid is vulnerable to voter ire over Senatorial process. I also expect that, once the GOP primary is settled out, enough resources will flow to the Republican nominee so that he or she will be able to make their case against Reid. This race started off bad, and the trend is only getting worse — gaffes like Reid’s leaked “Negro” comment the other day only serve as exclamation points on how much difficulty the Majority Leader is facing. SSP is moving our rating of this race from Tossup to Lean Republican.

Also disturbing is the fact that Reid’s would-be Democratic successors, 1st CD Rep. Shelly Berkley, Secretary of State Ross Miller, and Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman (who is actually now an Independent, but whatever), are also in tough races against Lowden and Tarkanian.

At this point, though, I would have to take any of the above options over Reid. The silver lining here is that Berkley and Miller are, amazingly enough, somehow just as (or more!) unknown than Lowden and Tarkanian. Berkley and Miller are met with 46% and 66% “Not Sure” opinion ratings, respectively, while Lowden gets 49% and Tarkanian 43%. On the flip side, a Reid retirement could also lead to the candidacy of 2nd CD Rep. Dean Heller, who could prove to be the most formidable opponent the GOP could run.

RaceTracker Wiki: NV-Sen

17 thoughts on “NV-Sen: Reid, Other Dems Trail B-Grade Opponents in PPP Poll; SSP Moves Race to Lean R”

  1. Those are ugly, ugly numbers for the Democrats, and if generic political Democrat X gets numbers that low, among Democratic politicians I’d be inclined to stick with Reid for the reasons mentioned in his favor (money and organization).

    But what about another kind of candidate? It looks like it’s going to be a strongly anti-incumbent year. Are there prominent Democrats in Nevada from other walks of life who could perhaps enter the race?

  2. my feeling is that this race would be a tossup once Reid would make room for someone else. Even if Dean Heller got in. And there are several Democratic possibilities: besides Shelley Berkley and Ross Miller (who defeated Tarkanian in 2006) they would be State Treasurer Kate Marshall (the only Democrat elected statewide from Northern Nevada) and AG Catherine Cortez Masto who won by the biggest margin of the statewide candidates in 2006. A surprise candidate would be State Senate Maj. Leader Steve Horsford who would be more likely to run for Berkley’s House seat should she run for Senate. If the polling remains the same for the next couple of months, I doubt Harry Reid will stay in the race.

    An interesting side note: Harry’s son Rory Reid announced today that he’s raised $3.3 million for his gubernatorial run with $2.6 million cash on hand.  

  3. Reid is in tough shape. But I doubt anyone will be any better, so he’ll fight to the death and maybe win.

    The one thing I’m confused about with these polls is the constant good numbers for Oscar Goodman. He seems like a kinda crazy, mob guy to me. Are Nevadans really into that?

  4. I was in Harry’s corner until y’all change his Senate race rating.

    Obama’s health care initiative is a worthy legacy for Reid.

    And I don’t think his $10 million war chest nor his and Rory’s top-of-the-ticket father-son outing distinguishes him all that much in the annals of “underdog-ism.”

    Goodman’s as old as Reid, so that’s a non-starter for me.

    Berkley and Miller are acceptable alternatives. If there were a way, notwithstanding campaign finance laws, to award Reid’s $10 million to either of these, I would say we’re in great shape to retain the seat. Fundraising is gonna be a hella prob with these two. Against Heller, they would both be at a distinct disadvantage in a situation where their name rec is lacking.

    That’s why I’m pretty sure Reid is gonna stay in.

  5. Just because the Dems PPP decided to poll didn’t do so hot doesn’t mean that there isn’t a Blumenthal in the wings. What about AG Catherine Cortez Masto? SoS Kate Marshall? Controller Kim Wallin? All three elected statewide.

    NV has a thick Dem bench and I’m not satisfied until at least those three are polled.

  6. The guy has gotten less than 52% of the vote in his past two elections in Nevada’s most Republican (and I’m going to guess, slowest growing) district.  Doesn’t sound like someone to cower from.  

    And yes, Reid needs to retire.  While the other potential Democrats have lower numbers compared to Reid, so do the Republicans in those matchups.  And in no non-Reid matchup is the Republican at or above 50%.

  7. Reid is toxic, absolutely posoinous, which depresses the numebrs for the other Dems, but look at them…

    Reid 42, Tarkanian 50

    Berkley 39, Tarkanian 47

    Takanian loses 3 points even as the Dem loses three points?

    It’s even more with Lowden.  She loses five points, against Berkley.

    Goodman of course would beat anyone if he ran as a Democrat.  He can have any office he wants in Nevada… IF he runs as a Democrat.

    Sadly PPP didn’t poll these Dems AGAINST Reid, which is the key data point missing.  It’s unlikely he’d get primaried unless a public poll showed Reid losing by 15 points to someone.

    Hardly anybody is undecided against Reid.  Gobs of voters are undecided without Reid.  This race is easily winnable if Reid does what a good, loyal member of a party does and retires.

  8. This is when you pull what McConnell did in 2008 and make it all about the pork.

    McConnell’s campaign realized he was unpopular but he knew Kentucky would get $55 million a year in federal funding with the minority leader being their Senator. A freshman majority member would only bring home $4-7 million a year. Over a 6 year term the difference is about $300 million.

    Until the economic recession I might not have believed that this tactic would work in NV like it did in KY but 1. the economy is so bad that everywhere needs help and 2. Las Vegas was one of the hardest hit cities in the US. The housing in LV has plummeted, schools are a mess, etc.

    Reid should go on the airways and say: I pledge that my next term will be all about helping Nevada. I will step down as majority leader to focus 100% of my next and final term on Nevada. Nevada is in bad shape right now and I will lose my remaining time as majority leader and my final 6 years as a Senator fighting day in and day out for middle class families here in Nevada.


Comments are closed.