“Harry Reid presents some problems…I’m going to make my decision based on what is before me and who is running…I am going to wait to see what the leadership looks like…”
Mary Landrieu, on Harry Reid, in May:
Reporter: “You won’t say one way or the other whether you’ll back Harry Reid?”
Landrieu: “Well if he runs, I will.“
And thus Mary Landrieu unconvincingly joins the swollen ranks of frightened Democrats who are seeking shelter behind awkward equivocations over their own party’s leadership, many of whom are trying to deflect attention from long voting records of marching in lockstep when it counts. A vote for Landrieu is a vote for Barack Obama and Harry Reid; the president said so himself. Crossroads GPS is up with a new ad using Obama’s infamous interview with Al Sharpton to deny Landrieu the opportunity to open up daylight between herself and the unpopular president she supports 97 percent of the time:
These are not easy times for a Democratic canvasser, and Cindy Pollard knows it. For months, she has been working the neighborhoods of this hollowed-out former manufacturing town east of Des Moines, driving up and down its streets in her black Toyota 4Runner…At one house Pollard visits on an evening last week, a man shakes his head and says, “Just go along.” At another, a woman says, “Technically, yes, I’m a Democrat, but I don’t feel like we’ve got a good selection this year.” In a sketchy apartment complex after dark, the man who answers the door yells inside, “Momma, some people here want to talk to you about voting,” only to turn back to us and shake his head: “Naw, she don’t want to talk to you.” These are the people the Democrats have identified as the midterm voters they need.
Pollard, a stocky 57-year-old with gel-spiked blond hair, wears jeans and a purple T-shirt for Senate candidate Bruce Braley. She doesn’t get discouraged, but she can’t help but notice. “It does seem like we’re getting less than at the beginning”—less people willing to hear her pitch for Democratic candidates, less people agreeing to send in their mail ballots, she says. “We’re really picking it clean.” Democrats have long contended that volunteers like Pollard, massed into a fiercely disciplined army and deployed in unprecedented numbers across states like this, will help them beat the odds in this difficult election year. But so far, the results look discouraging. Iowans have been voting for more than a month already—they can vote early in person at polling places or by requesting and returning a mail-in ballot—and it is Republicans who are encouraged by the numbers.
— Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports) October 28, 2014
Nevada isn’t hosting a marquee race this year, as Democrats have struggled to mount any credible challenge against wildly popular Gov. Brian Sandoval (who’s rumored to be eyeing Harry Reid’s Senate seat in 2016). Still, Nevada Democrats’ extraordinary struggles may be emblematic of the national enthusiasm gap. Asked on Twitter if he sees a Republican wave coming, preeminent Nevada politico John Ralston simply replied, “I see red people.”