January 10th, 2010
11:03 PM ET
13 years ago

Poll suggests Reid faces very tough re-election

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/11/art.reid9.gi.jpg caption="Surveys suggest Reid faces a tough re-election fight."](CNN) - As Harry Reid deals with the fallout from controversial comments, a new poll suggests the Senate majority leader faces an increasing difficult re-election this November.

Only one-third of Nevada voters have a favorable opinion of Reid, according to the survey by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research for the Last Vegas Review-Journal. The poll, released this weekend, indicates that a majority of voters in the state, 52 percent, hold an unfavorable opinion of their four-term senator. The 33 percent who see Reid in a positive light is down 5 points from November, with the unfavorable rating edging up 3 points.

The poll was conducted January 5-7, before news of Reid’s comments about then-presidential candidate Barack Obama's race sparked a controversy.

According to the survey, Reid trails three of his possible GOP challengers in hypothetical general election match-ups. The poll indicates Reid trails former Nevada GOP Chairwoman Sue Lowden by 10 points and businessman Danny Tarkanian by 8 points. Tarkanian is the son of former longtime University of Nevada-Las Vegas basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian. Reid also trails Sharron Angle by 5 points. Tarkanian and Lowden are deadlocked the primary battle among GOP voters.

One issue that may be hurting Reid is health care reform. The Senate majority leader is playing a large role in pushing the bill through his chamber, but only 35 percent of Nevada voters questioned support the legislation, with 54 percent opposed.

Reid has taken issue with polls from the Las Vegas-Review-Journal in the past.

Following a similar survey in October, Reid downplayed the results.

"All my polling numbers are fine," said the Senate Democratic leader. "They are not from a newspaper in Nevada that you guys tend to focus on. All my polling numbers are fine. And I'm continuing to do the best I can for the people of this country and the people of Nevada."

The release of the poll comes as one of the national conservative tea party organizations goes up with a television commercial against Reid in Nevada. The Tea Party Express said they're spending more than $100,000 to air their ad on television in the state starting Monday.

"Our message for Harry Reid is that your arrogance, your condescension and your failures as a Senator have not gone unnoticed. Don't be surprised when you receive a 'pink slip' from the voters come November,” said Mark Williams, vice chair of the Tea Party Express.

While Reid's bid for re-election could be tough, he does have a few advantages.

“Sen. Reid’s campaign advisors have pledged to spend upwards of $25 million to help him win re-election,” said CNN Political Editor Mark Preston. “That is a lot of money in Nevada. And even though Reid made those comments about Obama, I think that the president will do whatever is necessary to help him win another term. After all, Reid has been one of Obama’s closest allies on the Capitol Hill.”

The Mason-Dixon Polling and Research/Las Vegas Review-Journal poll was conducted by telephone with 625 active voters in Nevada questioned. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: Harry Reid • Poll • Senate
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Mike

    Bye Bye Reid. Shame you won't quit like your friend Dodd.

    January 10, 2010 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  2. Oy Vey

    Halperin and Heilemann ?

    Now there's a couple of good Caucasians who speak perfect English ... except when it's Yiddish, but only when they want to sound that way.

    Senator Harry should stand his ground. He will be back for another term

    January 10, 2010 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  3. terry,va

    Outside of Vegas, Nevada see Reid for what he is. Reid represents unions, socialists, and lazy people who want to suck the life out of the people that want too WORK for a living rather than be on a payroll or go to the mailbox for a check.

    January 10, 2010 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  4. Donkey Party

    The timing of the release of private comments Reid made two years ago isn't suspect at all. Curious how somebody was patient enough to sit on this until now. Nothing like a good old smear campaign from the Right before Reid's reelection bid. It's one of the only things they're still good at.

    January 11, 2010 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  5. Hope to Change

    Vote the old Reid out in November NV.

    January 11, 2010 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  6. J.V.Hodgson

    At this particular moment in time I do not see the value of this poll other than the fight between GOP candidates to get the nomination. Also as the media always tell us a week is a long time in politics.
    If Health care passes the economy improves even a little and some ( even if a few) tangible benefits accrue from the recovery act, and house prices recover a little, all reasonably possible by Next november, Reids position is much less precarious.
    Sorry real people do not care about elections X months away, they will start thinking about them 1 month before voting... the real change as always is the lower turnout on interim elections.
    Incumbents also do have a habit of winning!!

    January 11, 2010 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  7. Sari

    The Review-Journal is a Republican rag only fit to line bird cages and litter boxes. I'll bet they only called people in the rural counties, who tend to be a heck of a lot more conservative. As a Las Vegan, I always find it hilarious how the same folks in our state who give us disapproving glares and complain about Reid are at the same time COMPLETELY relying on the Las Vegas/ Reno casinos for any kind of tax income whatsoever for the state. This includes the folks who run the R-J.

    Wait, I get it. R-J supports Republicans. The Republicans keep people from doing anything fun at home. Thus they come to Vegas to for clandestine naughtiness. Thus profit for the state, and the R-J as well.

    Either that, or they're all just being obnoxious.

    January 11, 2010 03:17 am at 3:17 am |
  8. dan smith

    Bye bye Reid,unfortunately it won't be soon enough.

    January 11, 2010 05:53 am at 5:53 am |
  9. chris l

    Radical Reid will be unemployed soon. But hey maybe he could get one of ODUMBOS shovel ready jobs. LOL

    January 11, 2010 09:07 am at 9:07 am |