The answer serves as a textbook-worthy case study of hard and soft campaign science. Reid played every angle. If there was an advantage to be taken, no matter how slim, he seized it. Aided by a top-flight campaign team and prodigious fundraising, he made sure no opportunity went to waste…

Reid’s campaign realized that it would be impossible to distance their man from the Obama agenda, even as Democrats elsewhere did just that. Instead, Reid embraced the White House. He brought in Obama, the first lady, the vice president and a string of other Democratic base favorites, in an effort to get possibly dispirited Obama voters to feel that 2008 magic again. With the Democrats’ registration advantage of about 60,000 voters and the grass-roots machine working its magic, Reid was able to prevail even though Angle was favored among independents by a 4-point margin…

More than two-thirds of Hispanic voters chose Reid, according to the exit polls. While Reid attributed that to Democrats’ good works for Hispanics, organizers said it had more to do with Angle. Her campaign’s tough anti-illegal immigration ads, featuring menacing dark-skinned gangsters in bandannas, were decried as racist. She memorably told a group of Hispanic students they looked Asian to her. Adding insult to injury, an outside group headed by a Republican named Robert de Posada produced a Spanish-language ad with the message, “Don’t Vote.”