A new poll released yesterday by the Las Vegas Review-Journal shows Harry Reid stumbling badly against both leading Republicans for the nomination. Reid can’t get above 40% against either Sue Lowden or Danny Tarkanian, although Lowden has taken a commanding lead in this Mason-Dixon poll of 18 points in the primary over Tarkanian:
Sue Lowden has emerged as a clear leader among Republicans fighting for the chance to run against Sen. Harry Reid this fall, according to a new poll that also shows the incumbent Democrat continues to trail against his major challengers. …
Coker, managing partner of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, said those changes are statistically insignificant. But he said it’s worth noting that Reid continues to be stuck at around 40 percent in the matchups.
Another thing to watch, Coker said, are independents, who make up about 20 percent of the electorate. Both Lowden and Tarkanian continued to draw more than 50 percent support from those voters, with Reid’s backing at 31 percent against Lowden and 38 percent against Tarkanian, according to the poll.
“As long as the Republican candidate has a significant lead among independents, it will be pretty hard for Reid to win,” Coker said. “I don’t see today where Reid can get 45 percent of the vote.”
So how can Reid hold his seat while unable to get above 45%? As Allahpundit noted from last week’s Las Vegas Sun poll, encourage a third-party candidate to enter the race and hope for a Ross Perot effect:
Obviously, a third-party candidate hurts Republicans. This presumes quite a bit about the extrapolation of these figures into a real election, however. The choices (other than Reid) that the poll presents are generic candidates. It assumes that the Tea Party candidate would have enough standing to draw significantly from either Lowden or Tarkanian. Remember that Democrats pinned their hopes of rescuing Jon Corzine in New Jersey and Martha Coakley in Massachusetts on significant third-party candidates, only to be disappointed in the actual draw the candidates created from Republican momentum.
Getting back to the more traditional matchups, the most significant findings are in the Clark County results. That is Reid’s power base, including Las Vegas and its environs, which generates a good amount of cash for Reid. His son Rory is a county commissioner for Clark. Yet Reid loses Clark to Lowden by eleven points, and to Tarkanian by six. That’s a very bad sign for Reid.
Equally bad is the lack of bounce for Reid from Obama’s visit to Las Vegas last month:
But as Reid faces an uphill path to win re-election to a fifth Senate term, Obama’s enthusiastic endorsement does not appear to have improved the Senate majority leader’s standing among constituents, according to a new poll conducted for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Reid got no bounce from Obama’s visit on Feb. 19, when the president spoke highly of him at Green Valley High School and to business leaders at CityCenter, polling indicates.
A larger percentage of voters surveyed (17 percent) said they would be less likely to vote for Reid following the president’s visit than said they would be more likely to vote for him (7 percent). Seventy-five percent said Obama’s visit would have no effect on how they vote.
That was easily predictable, as Obama has cratered in Nevada:
The Las Vegas Review-Journal survey found that 39 percent of respondents had a favorable view of Obama, up from 34 percent in a January poll but down from a high of 55 percent in May . His unfavorable rating stayed the same as in January, 46 percent. …
The steady decline in Obama’s job approval rating has implications for Democrats in an election year. His 2008 candidacy buoyed Democratic contenders in Nevada and across the nation, and new voters registered in droves to cast ballots for him.
“He doesn’t have the political coattails that he demonstrated when he was elected, so it’s going to be harder for endangered Democrats,” Coker said, including U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Rep. Dina Titus, both Nevada Democrats. “It’s going to make life tougher.”
With only eight months to the midterm elections and no relief in sight on either employment or ObamaCare, those numbers are not likely to improve. Unless a significant third party challenger enters the race, Harry Reid is toast.