November 2nd, 2010
08:24 AM ET
10 years ago

Both sides ready for possible late night in high-stakes Nevada Senate showdown

Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) - With both campaigns and political parties mounting efforts to get out as many voters as possible on Tuesday, Democratic incumbent Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada and Republican challenger Sharron Angle are preparing for what could be a very late night to decide who is the victor in the high-stakes battle for the Senate seat.

The contest is one of the most closely watched Senate races in the nation and could decide which party controls it.

With polls showing the contest a virtual dead heat, both sides say the outcome could be decided by a very narrow margin.

The campaigns, party groups and outside organizations have battled over the airwaves, running a seemingly continuous series of ads attacking the other candidate. Some estimates put the amount spent on the race at $50 million.

On the day before the election, Reid and Angle chose markedly different approaches.

But the message from both was essentially the same: The race is close, don't take anything for granted and go to the polls.

Reid, fighting for his political survival, brought in first lady Michelle Obama for a high-energy, high-profile, get-out-the-vote rally Monday.

"We are heading into that final round - it is right before us," Reid, a former boxer, told the crowd. "Let's take no chances."

"I am not finished fighting," he told the crowd, adding that he has battled his entire life. "I am not finished fighting for jobs ... or keeping Nevadans in their homes or to protect Social Security."

The longtime senator is facing an uphill climb partly because of the state's dire economic picture - it has the nation's highest unemployment rate at 14.4 percent, as well as the highest foreclosure rate.

Reid pointed out some of his accomplishments as Senate majority leader, saying he would do more to help create jobs.

The first lady called him a strong leader.

"Because of leaders like Harry, so much has been accomplished in such a short period of time," Michelle Obama said, while transitioning into a strong defense of her husband's record.

"Barack knows too many folks are out of work right now," she said, noting that his administration has cut taxes for middle-class families and small businesses - more than most people realize, she added.

Acknowledging the frustration across the country, Obama urged audience members to show their support for the administration.

"This election is not just about what we have accomplished, but what we have left to do," Obama said. She also asked for patience, saying her husband's election was not a single event but "was about building a movement for change."

Angle chose a more low-key approach, dropping by a senior center for lunch and a Reno restaurant to chat with voters, according to the campaign. Reporters were not invited to see her at either stop.

She also did a series of television and radio interviews, including talks with conservative talk show hosts Dennis Miller, Hugh Hewitt, Lars Larson and Mark Levin. Angle participated as well in a tele-town hall meeting with Sen. John McCain, who campaigned with her at a rally Friday in Nevada.

"I'm very cautiously optimistic," she told Fox News Monday night. "It's one of those things that we don't try to even forecast until we get all of the results in. So we are eager to have everyone get out and vote."

Angle went after Reid over the state's economy, saying he hasn't done enough to help repair it.

"Certainly we do hold him responsible here in Nevada. When he went in as senate majority leader, we were at 4.4 percent unemployment and now ... we are at 14.4 percent unemployment," she said in a television interview. "But when you put in the underemployed and those who have quit looking for jobs, we are really a 22.3 percent unemployment. And we lay those (figures) squarely at Harry Reid's doorstep."

Reid attacked Angle as an extremist, much as his campaign has done since she won a June primary in an upset victory largely due to support from Tea Party activists.

Filed under: 2010 • Harry Reid • Nevada • Sharron Angle
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I hope Nevadans have enough common sense to vote for Sen. Reid. I know it's hot out there in that desert and folks brains can become fried. Obviously Sharon Angle's is.

    November 2, 2010 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  2. sue

    extremest versus crook......I go with extremist atleast she isn't stealing from us and never said we stunk up the White House when we go to visit.

    November 2, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  3. King

    Give me a slow and firm recovery than a fast a fast one that that bible will bust and cause devastation The economy again.

    November 2, 2010 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  4. SethC

    Mr. Reid is experienced, but also has an allegiance to this administration, who has taken this Nation into debt, and unemployment, by raising taxes, and spending money. Money that does not need to be wasted on petty projects. I think it's time for him to retire. I don't agree with all of Angle's ideas but they sure will add a breath of fresh air to a stale White House right now. She needs to be given a chance to prove herself in this race. I feel she will be good for America.

    November 2, 2010 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  5. terry, va

    No way dirty harry comes close even with his cheating union thugs.

    November 2, 2010 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  6. stufit

    Now it comes down to how many times the union members and the dead people can vote, how many gift cards Reids supporters can give out to those who vote for him and how many ballot boxes stuffed full of ballots for Reid will be found in the trunks of Reid supporters after the election like Franken in Minnesota. One way or another the libs and corrupt unions will make sure he wins.

    November 2, 2010 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  7. Latino voter in Vegas

    I am standing in line waiting to vote early. No poisoned Tea for me. I am voting for Harry Reid.

    November 2, 2010 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  8. diridi

    America is at stake, please vote any Dem....GOP sold this nation to Saudi Arabia,, and China...shipped jobs to any Dem....look, stocks are raising...good for matter who comes, it takes is messed by Reagan, and idiotic Dem....

    November 2, 2010 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  9. Frank

    Vote Nevada Democrats. Show the country the class that Las Vegas represents. Vote for Harry Reid.

    November 2, 2010 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  10. Susan

    It boggles the mind that Sharon Angle is even close. What's wrong with Nevadans? They will regret the day that they help Angle send Las Vegas down the tubes. She said she wants to eliminate the dept of education? I bet its because Latinos are
    in the system. Cut medicare? Are you listening seniors? After drinking her "tea" , they will be wishing for Reid. So times you
    have to let people cut off their noses to prove that their faces will hurt also.

    November 2, 2010 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  11. Marie MD

    The older statesman who is high on the totem pole in the Senate vs the complete run for your life lunatic whose best idea is privatize social security. I am glad to know she doesn't need that extra bit of money that is not an entitlement as you pay for it all your life.

    November 2, 2010 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  12. stufthis

    According to Angle, it is not the job of congress to create jobs. It is so republican of her to blame, blame, blame, and offer no solutions to help Nevadans. Hard to believe she has any followers.

    November 2, 2010 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  13. Seattle Sue

    I thought Angle said it wasn't a Senator"s job to create jobs, but here she is claiming Reed has lost jobs. This woman can not be trusted too many crazy/radical ideals.

    November 2, 2010 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  14. T'SAH from Virginia

    Reid is going to WIN!!! Reid is going to WIN!!! Reid is going to WIN!!! Reid is going to WIN!!! Reid is going to WIN!!! Reid is going to WIN!!! Reid is going to WIN!!! Reid is going to WIN!!! Reid is going to WIN!!! Reid is going to WIN!!! Reid is going to WIN!!! Reid is going to WIN!!! Reid is going to WIN!!! Reid is going to WIN!!! Reid is going to WIN!!! Reid is going to WIN!!! Reid is going to WIN!!!

    If Nevada elects Sharon Angle, I will NEVER go there again to the Casinos (Being I only went there ONCE in my life and too BROKE to go there again)!!

    DEMOCRATS in NV – PLEASE get out and vote and keep in mind the devastating results that would occur if Angle gets into office. Besides, Reid ,this time around, WILL do better because you KNOW HIM!!! It cannot get any WORSE than what it is and I am sure he would work DOUBLE-TIME to prove that. Angle, on the other hand, is going in NOT sharing any of your VIEWS, VALUES or BELIEFS and you're just VOTING for HER to PUNISH Reid – it's NOT going to WORK!!!

    GET OUT AND VOTE – now – it's November 2, 2010!!!

    This is T'SAH from Virginia and I approve this message!!

    November 2, 2010 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  15. Worteurs

    "The contest is one of the most closely watched Senate races in the nation and could decide which party controls it."

    Which party controls "the contest?"

    November 2, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  16. Nevada Latino Voter(not Asian)

    Latinos will show up and show Angle who we are at the polls in Vegas . Something tells me she had better start
    getting wild about Harry.

    November 2, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  17. katiec

    Cannot believe anyone, and especially women, would support this incompetent.
    She would try to set the rights of women back for years and our country for that matter.
    Anger over what the republicans brought onto our country should not lead a person to
    vote against an incumbent, especially when the alternative is a irresponsible, radical ,
    confused candidate.
    Nevada, please do not make our voting process a laughing stock of our country.

    November 2, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  18. Bill

    Go Sharon! Reid Stinks!

    November 2, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  19. James

    If there was ever someone who needed to be handed his hat and shown the door, it's Harry Reid.

    November 2, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  20. A Patriot

    "You are what your record says you are" so said a NY Giant coach.

    We were told that this was going to be a landslide election to sweep President Obama out of power by seizing dominate contol of the House and Senate.

    Truth is that historically the incoming President`s party loses 25 to 35 seats (out of 435) during "mid term" elections. So unless the Tea Party delivers much more than this, it hasn`t amounted to much.

    The Senate will keep the House in check if itgets out of line and the ultimate line of defense is the President`s veto.

    November 2, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  21. GonzoinHouston

    It says a lot that a very senior and well-entrenched incumbent is so close to defeat at the hands of a semi-rational fringe candidate.

    November 2, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |