September 7th, 2010
06:06 PM ET
4 years ago

Millions of advertising dollars being poured into Las Vegas, Reno

Harry Reid is caught in a tight race with Republican Senate hopeful Sharron Angle.
Harry Reid is caught in a tight race with Republican Senate hopeful Sharron Angle.

Washington (CNN) – No fewer than five special interest groups have run television commercials in Nevada since June in an effort to try and influence a small group of voters who will decide whether Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wins a fifth term.

The groups, four pro-Republican and one pro-Democrat, have spent at least $2.8 million on TV ads since Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle won the GOP nomination at the beginning of the summer. Angle, herself, has spent more than $2.6 million on commercials, while Reid aired more than $1.9 million on TV ads in this same three month time period. Today, Reid put a new commercial on TV that is sharply critical of Angle.

In total, nearly $7.5 million worth of television commercials for this Senate contest have aired since June, according to an analysis by Campaign Media Analysis Group for CNN. And that number is expected to double by Election Day.

“Nevada is going to be one of the highest profile races in the country,” said Evan Tracey, CMAG’s president and CNN’s consultant on political television advertising. “Ads will be wall-to-wall on the airwaves.”

The pro-Democratic group, Patriot Majority, has spent more than $1.6 million on pro-Reid commercials.

American Crossroads and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, two groups affiliated with Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, are responsible for the bulk of the pro-Republican spending in this race. American Crossroads has aired a little more than $622,000 worth of ads, while Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies has spent about $416,000 on commercials. Another national GOP group, Citizens United, has run more than $60,000 worth of TV ads and Las Vegas-based Americans for New Leadership spent about $38,000 on commercials.

Republicans are keying in on the Nevada race, and see it as an opportunity to defeat a vulnerable Reid, much like the GOP did in 2004 when it successfully unseated then-Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle. The difference in the 2004 South Dakota race is that Republicans fielded a battle tested former congressman in John Thune. In the 2010 Nevada race, Angle has made a series of missteps, yet she still has a very good shot of defeating Reid in what is shaping up to be an anti-Washington, anti-incumbent political year.

“A really small part of the electorate is undecided, between 5 percent and 8 percent,” said Jon Ralston, the well-respected Nevada political analyst.

The most recent Mason-Dixon poll showed that Reid holds a 1 percent lead over Angle, well within the survey’s 4 percent sampling error. And that poll noted that 5 percent of respondents remain undecided in the Senate contest.

Ralston noted that Reid successfully used TV ads to take what had been an “eight to 10 point deficit and turn into a dead heat.” And Ralston added that now “you cannot turn on a newscast without seeing three commercials.”

The number of TV ads for this Senate race is only going to increase as we inch closer to Election Day.


Filed under: 2010 • Harry Reid • Nevada • Sharron Angle
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Deep into this campaign, Sharon Angle is still clueless and using false information like it had been proven.

    September 7, 2010 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  2. Hunter of the lib hunter

    The Bush economy hurt the gambling industry, and I doubt that Sharron Angle will be able to bring it back by eliminating social security, medicare, the department of education, health reform, eliminating unemployment benefits, and deregulating the oil industry. Sharron is not only wrong for Nevada, but for America. She would be a better fit in the government of Haiti, where there are no regulations.

    September 7, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Brass tacks: this race is a referendum on "just how stupid is the average American voter?" Angle winning wold pretty much confirm there to be no hope whatsoever that anything will ever get any better ever again during our lifetimes.

    September 7, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  4. Ted

    If Nevadans or Nevadians or whatever they call themselves vote this delusionary Sharron Angle in to office, then I will be the first to call for forced secession of Nevada from the USA. Angle is such a stupid idiot, I cannot understand why Boner and Cantor and McConnell haven't spoken up and ridiculed this woman for being such a moron. She is everything that no one, but the fanatical tea partiers, want for leadership.

    September 7, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  5. Peter s

    Gotcha games while the cable companies wallow in profits!!

    September 7, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. nini

    Las Vegas you Deserve better than Reed.

    September 7, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    I was recently in Las Vegas and saw some of these ads and frankly, thye are horriblly innacurate.
    When will we require that ads be factfully accurate in what they say about a candidate? Free speech is one thing- allowing lies to be spread is quite another.
    This is a democracy ( correctly a Republic) but for our electorate to vote intelliengently, they must told the truth.

    September 7, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain

    "The groups, four pro-Republican and one pro-Democrat, have spent at least $2.8 million on TV ads ..."

    This is all a direct result of the Citizens United Supreme Court case.

    Who are these corporations trying to buy the US Senate? Are they foreign-owned? What allegiance do they have to Americans, or are they just beholden to their "shareholders," whoever they may be and whatever they may want?

    Campaign contributions are NOT free speech – and we, as a nation, will live to rue the day the Supreme Court – led by the corporatist John Roberts – turned our elections over to the highest bidder.

    September 7, 2010 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  9. Jean2

    It is sad that people will vote for Angle because of the hate being encouraged by FOX and the Tea Party.

    September 7, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  10. amarjit

    Mr.Reid has done a great deal in favour of American people by steering through Bills which none could do so for. He has gone deep into the history of America evolution in these days of recession & his talent is publicly accepted as unmatched. There is no reason why he should not win in the election to senate again with remarkable achievements in securing compromise of GOP. Such personalities are required to be retained in DC to change America to erstwhile status doing maximum goods to the very foundation of USA.

    September 7, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  11. Riley

    Reid doesn't deserve to be reelcted regardless of who his opponenet his.

    September 7, 2010 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  12. Lucas Breen

    Hey Nevada, go ahead and kick Reid out.

    He gets way too many Federal dollars for you people at the expense of the rest of us. He has the ear of everyone in Washington who matters, and uses his influence to push all those stupid causes you people believe in.

    You need access to people in power in DC? Don't ask Reid. If you are from anywhere in the country except Nevada, Reid won't help you. He won't even help people who have given him big campaign donations.

    BTW ... I live in South Carolina and we are sick of having to keep all this nuclear waste here. The stuff is leaking and giving our people cancer. Reid is standing in the way of our being able to send this radioactive stuff to you people.

    Elect Sharon Angle to the Senate so we can get this radioactive crap away from us and into your state where no one cares about it except Mr. Reid.

    September 7, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  13. Ponder this.,....

    Cut your Social Security.... Abolish Department of Education.. along with others... force a rape victim to carry a child of that violence...a vote for Angle is beyond comprehension.

    And... Democrats... get your chit together and stand by your President and your accomplishments! and BTW these predictions of a Democrat bloodbath are WAYYYY too premature. Just this afternoon, surprise of surprise, for the first time in five weeks, both parties are TIED in the generic poll for Registered Voters.

    Chew on that Democrat members of the House and Senate who are cowering in closets and acting as though your smart, eager and oh, so patient President has leprosy. Grow Some!!!

    September 7, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  14. Sgt. Joe

    Reid may be far from perfect, but Angle? Come on....she's not even qualified to lead a Brownie troup! If Nevada votes her in, they deserve what they get....a crazy loon. My god, the woman can't even answer questions that haven't been pre-screened. Why the infatuated with these extreme idealogues?

    September 7, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  15. Duane Bernard, Tucson, Az

    What's to think about ...... does Nevada want a Senator that's against Social Security and Medicare .... plus will vote against working middle class on every vote.

    September 7, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  16. Snow

    I cannot believe this sorry piece of trash(reid) is still in the race. He should be well behind anybody.

    September 7, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  17. jazz92

    Harry will win. Now if the Republicans had had some good sense and nominated someone else other than nitwit Angle they may have been able to win. But every time she opens her mouth she puts her foot in it. She even runs away from Reporters and stopped answering questions. She said she wanted to answer the questions that makes her look good. Craziest woman on the face of the earth. Bachamann is the second nitwit who has way out there. Please dear God do not let these nitwits win.

    September 7, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  18. hal

    Why don't they put that money into good use.......

    September 7, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  19. Doraine Gordon

    Harry Reid will win the election in Nevada because people won't vote for a crazy woman. This fool woman wants to do away with Social Security and Medicare. She also said her job isn't to create jobs so she isn't interested in unemployment. Alot of you tea partiers are old senior citizens so you had better be real careful of who you vote for. If you put her into office you ae going to loseyour Social Security and Medicare. And you folks who are unemployed are going to stay that way with her representing you. So get out and vote to keep the Democrats in power if you know what is good for you.

    September 7, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  20. Richard T.

    I hope that at some point in time, soon, an ad and the media report that Sharron Angle was twice voted the worst legislator and earned the nickname "41 to Angle." Now she is trying to tell CNN that she will be a "mainstream" Senator. She actually thinks she and her theocratic ideas represtent the mainstream of American society. She is a full blown wack-a-doodle.

    Her record speaks for itself:
    1. Has been a canidate since the late 80's in any party available.
    2. Thinks "Separation of Church and State" is not in the Constitution and that social security and medicare are unconstitutional and against the ten commandments and the second amendment remedies might be needed if congress does other than she believes.
    3. Some argue asa freshman senator she could do no harm. Those persons seem to forget the Sentate rules that allow blind block on appointments and the ability to filabuster at will. She will be destructive to getting anything done in the Senate. That is saying a lot since this year the Rethugnican have used the filibuster more than 270 time setting an all time record of approach twice as many filibusters than an previous Senate.

    September 7, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  21. Challenging Ignorance

    History repeats itself. Those who remember "Contract for a New America", see it playing out again. The GOP lies, cheats and steals it's way back into power.. taking advantage of the IGNORANT voters who think they actually will be better off after the GOP gains control.. and proceeds to divert our interests to Oil, Guns, Tobaco, Military.. war and resource mongers. Just about every GOP legislator who trumpeted morals and character during Clinton years demonstrated they had none (e.g. most of the GOP panel that impeached Clinton for his affair, had had illicit affairs beforehand.. hypocrits one and all)

    September 7, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  22. mj

    Time to go, Harry. Let go of the coattails you have been hanging on to. Your ideas are as old as you. Go retire in Southern Arizona.

    September 7, 2010 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  23. D. Bunker

    As bad as Reid is, Angle would be 100 times worse for NV and the country. The lady is borderline insane and she pretty much wants to repeal the entire 20th Century. That's NOT change you can believe in.

    September 7, 2010 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  24. Citizen_Kane

    Seems illogical to spend millions upon millions of dollars to secure a job that pays a couple hundred thousand a year.

    Only reson to do so would be for backdoor favors.

    We need Grassroots, not these moles in our yard.

    September 7, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  25. Rolling Barrel

    Angle is pretty much off the reservation. Not that Reid is that great but seriously, you cannot allow people of her ilk into congress. However, the focus of the article should be the amount of $ that special interest groups are pouring into this small (population wise) state. Shouldn't the people of Nevada be able to make a decision about who bests represents them and their collective interests in Congress without having massive amounts of $ from people who REALLY control things having a massive influence. Someone let me know... is THIS the result of that Supreme Court ruling allowing corporations to place unlimited ads with their deep pockets?

    September 7, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
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