Has anyone noticed how quiet Harry Reid has been on pushing ObamaCare? Reid has let Max Baucus (D-MT) take the public lead in pushing for health-care reform and has limited himself mostly to general statements of support for industry reform. Rasmussen’s new polling in Nevada shows why. Reid trails both of his potential Republican challengers, and has gone under water on favorability in his state:
In what is currently a difficult political climate for Democrats, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid trails two potential Republican challengers seeking to unseat him as he faces reelection next year in Nevada.
The first Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of the 2010 race shows Sue Lowden beating Reid by 10 percentage points, 50% to 40%. Lowden is chairwoman of the Nevada Republican Party and the preferred candidate of the Republican party establishment.
GOP hopeful Danny Tarkanian beats Reid by seven points, 50% to 43%. Tarkanian is a former basketball player for the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and the son of a legendary college basketball coach.
The Senate Majority Leader has a big problem at home with his image. Only 45% have a favorable opinion of Reid, while a solid majority of 54% view him unfavorably. Voters were more than twice as likely to view him strongly unfavorably (42%) as strongly favorably (20%), pointing to a big, big problem in getting re-elected in 14 months.
Part of the reason is ObamaCare. The overhaul of the health-care system is as popular in Nevada as it is nationwide, opposed by 52% of Nevada voters and supported by only 45%, exactly what the lastest numbers show nationwide. Fifty-one percent say it will make health-care worse, and 74% say it will lead to higher taxes on the middle class. Reid’s leadership in the Senate makes him responsible for those outcomes, and it has made him unpopular at a very bad time.
But just as with the Democrats nationwide, the independents are the key. In the Rasmussen poll, independent voters pick Lowden over Reid by a whopping 3-1 margin, 62%-20%. Reid doesn’t do much better with independents against Tarkanian, losing that matchup 65%-29%. Reid loses every age demographic and almost every income demographic against Lowden.
Generally speaking, when an incumbent drops below 50% support, the challenger has a good shot at winning. Getting back to 50% support would be a miracle for Reid. It won’t happen while Obama pushes ObamaCare.