When an incumbent drops below 50% job approval or favorability, his likelihood of re-election begins to dim. Harry Reid intends on giving us a demonstration of how that works in 201o. A new Mason-Dixon poll has a bare 33% of Nevada voters giving Reid a favorable rating, while 52% view him unfavorably. He loses in head-to-head matchups against both major Republican candidates vying in the primary by comfortable margins, as well as a third candidate of whom almost half of Nevadans have never heard (via Instapundit):
According to the survey:
• 52 percent had an unfavorable opinion of Reid, 33 percent had a favorable view and another 15 percent said they’re neutral. In early December, a Mason-Dixon poll put his unfavorable-favorable rating at 49-38. The lowest Reid’s popularity had slipped before in the surveys was 50 percent — in October, August and May of 2009, when Mason-Dixon started tracking the senate race for the Review-Journal.
The poll also took a snapshot of how Reid would do against three potential GOP opponents. In each case — as in past Review-Journal surveys — it showed the senator would lose with only four in 10 voters supporting him. The potential match-ups would look like this:
• Sue Lowden, former Nevada Republican Party chairwoman, would get 50 percent of the vote to Reid’s 40 percent with 10 percent undecided.
• Danny Tarkanian, a businessman and former UNLV basketball star, would gain 49 percent of the vote to Reid’s 41 percent.
• And Sharron Angle, a former Reno assemblywoman, would get 45 percent of the vote to Reid’s 40 percent, a strong showing given her low name recognition statewide — 42 percent don’t know her.
Basically, one could run any Republican against Reid, and he couldn’t get more than 41% of the vote. That’s a sign that someone has outlived his mandate. And normally, a politician facing these kind of numbers would take the hint and find a lobbying job, but not Reid:
In response, Reid told the Review-Journal Friday he wouldn’t consider stepping aside as did Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, whose announcement this week prompted rumors that the Senate majority leader might think about ending his political career now that he’s the most vulnerable incumbent.
“I am absolutely running for re-election,” said Reid, 70, in a statement. “These are difficult times for Nevada and as the majority leader of the Senate I have been able to take action to address those challenges. But I know there is more work to do to turn our state’s economy around and create jobs and I am committed to seeing it through.” …
The November election is 10 months out, which may give the senator’s expected $25 million-fueled campaign time to sell him to Nevadans again — and time to tear apart his GOP opponent once a contender emerges from the crowded field in the June primary.
”He’s never backed down from a fight,” Reid campaign manager Brandon Hall said in an interview when asked whether Reid would retire instead of seeking a fifth Senate term. He added, ”We’re not trying to win a beauty contest here.”
Obviously not. Reid will use his huge war chest to attempt to distract Nevadans from the fact that he has become a shill for the radical agenda of Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama, rather than represent the independent and fiscally conservative Nevada that sent him to the Senate. He will conduct character assassinations on Republicans rather than have to defend his performance to his constituents, who have recoiled in disgust over Reid’s work since becoming Senate Majority Leader. That’s not a beauty contest — it’s a mudslinging extravaganza, and it’s the only way Reid can possibly make people forget what he’s become.
As for never backing down from a fight, well …
Seems to me that at a -19 favorability, Reid’s war is all but lost. Shouldn’t he take his own advice and retreat ignominiously over an event horizon in Searchlight?