October 15, 2007

Harry Reid Less Popular Than George Bush In Nevada

I just left the great state of Nevada, so the latest polling by the Las Vegas Review-Journal has a special appeal to me. Harry Reid's high-profile leadership of the Democratic Party has impressed the folks back home, but not in the way that Reid would prefer. He now scores lower favorabilty ratings than George Bush, and his negatives go higher than Hillary Clinton's (via Memeorandum):

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's appeal among Nevadans has plunged dramatically in a new Review-Journal poll, which finds him viewed unfavorably by most likely voters in his home state. ...

The poll asked 625 likely voters from around the state whether they recognized a politician's name, and if so, if they had a favorable, unfavorable or neutral opinion of that person. The survey carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Reid's favorable rating was 32 percent, compared with 51 percent unfavorable and 15 percent neutral. Gibbons was viewed favorably by 30 percent, Bush by 34 percent.

The Review-Journal last asked Nevadans their opinion of Reid in early May. At that time, he was seen favorably by 46 percent and unfavorably by 42 percent.

Reid can breathe a sigh of relief that he doesn't face re-election for another two years. The numbers for Reid would indicate that he might not even survive a primary challenge, let alone a re-election general election. The trend also gives Reid a big problem for a man who ran as a more conservative Democrat and who has now alienated most of the constituencies that elected him.

Reid blames this on the war, saying that a failure to end it has frustrated Nevadans. It's a comforting fantasy, to be sure, but that's all it is. One only needs to look at the standing of his colleague, John Ensign, to see why. Ensign still has a majority favorable rating. In fact, Ensign only has a 19% unfavorable rating, despite dipping his toes into the partisan wrangling as chair of the NRSC. Ensign supports the war, and Nevadans support Ensign, which disproves Reid's excuse.

Reid appears to have lost favor with Nevadans because Reid no longer supports his constituents' views. He announced the defeat of the United States from the Senate floor without actually waiting for us to lose. He's shown himself incompetent in running the Senate, which has spent more time chasing its tail (and the administration's) than on passing budgets. He championed an ethics-reform bill that does nothing to reform ethics.

I'm surprised that he still gets 32%. I suspect it will go much lower than that.


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