Rasmussen: Reid up 2 over Angle, 45/43

The good news in the latest Rasmussen poll: Sharron Angle appears to have rebounded a bit from a bad month.  The bad news: Harry Reid appears to be picking up support for the first time this year.  Reid hit 45% support from likely voters, a high-water mark, while Angle remains within the margin of error at 43%:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has edged ahead of his Republican opponent Sharron Angle in his bid for reelection in Nevada. Both candidates are seen to hold extreme views by large segments of the population.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Nevada finds Reid with 45% of the vote, while Angle earns 43% support. Seven percent (7%) favor some other candidate, and four percent (4%) are undecided.

But 48% of the state’s voters have a Very Unfavorable view of Reid. Forty-one percent (41%) say the same of Angle. Overall, 55% have at least a somewhat unfavorable opinion of Reid and 56% view Angle at least somewhat unfavorably.

Reid appears to be succeeding in making this race as negative as possible.  However, Reid has been burned by playing with this fire, too.  He’s managed to convince 58% of respondents that Angle has “extreme” views rather than mainstream (37%), but in the process has created a problem for himself.  He’s only eight points behind on “extreme,” with 50%, while only 41% consider him mainstream.

That reverses itself, by the way, with independents.  Unaffiliated voters consider Reid extreme by twenty points, 55/35.  With Angle, that’s only a twelve-point split, 52/40.  Angle has more of a  problem within her own party (28/67) than Reid does with his (13/79), but Angle does slightly better with Democrats on the vote question (10%) than Reid does with Republicans (8%).   Meanwhile, the extremism argument has put them both at the same level of favorability, with Angle at 43/56 and Reid at 44/55.

Meanwhile, Reid still has gale-force headwinds on the economy and the Democratic agenda.  Barack Obama’s job approval is only 43/55, while 55% of voters saying that their personal finances are getting worse rather than better (17%) or staying the same (27%).  Assuming the Angle campaign gets onto better footing and starts getting its ads on television, this race can still be won.