Poll: U.S. Senate leader has problems in home state

May 19, 2009

Sure it’s a long way before the November 2010 U.S. congressional election — and a lot can happen between now and then. But at this point, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada seems to be in jeopardy of becoming the second Senate leader in a half century to be voted out of office.

A poll released on Tuesday by the Las Vegas Review-Journal found that half of Nevada voters had an unfavorable view of Reid, while 38 percent had a favorable view, the newspaper said.


Reid won reelection in 2004 to a fourth term with 61 percent of the vote. But his approval ratings have since slipped. He became Senate Democratic leader in 2005, and majority leader in 2007.

“Harry Reid could be in trouble,” said Jennifer Duffy, who tracks Senate races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report in Washington.

Duffy said Reid faces the dangers of being a Senate leader while his party controls the White House.

“You have to be in tune with the White House as well as your constituents,” Duffy said.

Still, Duffy said, she now rates his race as “likely Democrat.” But she noted that’s largely because Reid doesn’t yet have a Republican opponent.

The statewide poll of 625 Nevadans was conducted by telephone last week by the Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc., for the Nevada newspaper. With Democrats now holding 59 of 100 Senate seats, Reid could lose and his party could still end up retaining control the chamber in next year’s election.

Senate leaders are among the most powerful members of Congress and have routinely won their reelection. But in recent years they have faced unhappy constituents. Polls showed Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky in trouble much of last year. He rallied down the stretch, however, and won a fifth term with 53 percent of the vote.

Democrat Tom Daschle of South Dakota was the last Senate leader to be ousted. He was unseated in 2004 as a top target of Republicans who branded him “the chief obstructionist” to then President George W. Bush’s conservative agenda.

Reid’s campaign manager brushed off the new Nevada poll.

“The primary number Senator Reid is worried about is Nevada’s 10.4 percent unemployment rate, and that’s why he’s focused on fixing the economy and creating jobs in Nevada,” Brandon Hall was quoted as saying by the Review-Journal. “Polling numbers move up and down. The only poll that really matters is on Election Day.”

REUTERS/Jason Reed      (U.S. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada)


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The good news for Reid is that Republicans still can’t find a credible challenger.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

Senator Reid has a fine record of public life, with no negatives, and with a lot to show for at the height of the Iraq war. He was the one who exposed the 100.000 contractors of Cheney’s Halliburton company getting rich in Iraq while others were killed to stabilize it, and he was consistent during the Bush’s years in denouncing him for everything that went wrong under his administration – including torture, millions of dollars lost and unaccounted for, hundreds of thousands of guns vanished that still remain unaccounted for, and,
in general, everything that went wrong under George Bush and Dick Cheney. He, therefore, was instrumental in defeating soundly the republican party in the last elections, and securing a democratic majority in both houses of the congress.

Then, Reid has also delivered to Nevada a big share of millions through the congressional entitlements of pork allocations that each congressman sends back home. And his seniority, along with his leadership status, has probably delivered to Nevadans the “Lion’s Share” of pork.

Will the Nevadans disregard all Reid has done for their state, and throw him out of office in 2010? Nevadans are smart, and that is why they have a
prosperous state in a desert land. And certainly they are not going to throw out Reid, the Goose that lays “Golden Eggs” for them! Nikos Retsos, retired professor

Posted by Nikos Retsos | Report as abusive

I think a lot of liberal democrats will be surprised when they lose their election/re-election campaigns next year.

America is slowly realizing the mistake they made when they voted in this bunch of progressive liberals.

Who cares if they are defeated by a republican. It is more important to defeat them with conservatives who have traditional values, smaller government and fiscal restraint.

We certainly don’t have that now and we will pay the price if the voters continue on this wayward path.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

News flash- we’re paying the price for eight years of conservative governance right now. Conservatives are in for a shock they get wiped off the electoral map next year. They keep talking small government, but what they are doing is creating a small party.

The future political landscape in America will be liberal Democrats and conservative Democrats. The welfare states, Mississippi, Alaska, West Virginia, Montana, Alabama, South Dakota, and Arkansas will remain under Republican control.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

getplaning. I guess we’ll see, won’t we?

You are still too hung up on the republican/democrat thing. Go ahead and miss the entire point of what is happening to this country when we elect people who don’t have conservative values.

Go ahead and complain all you want to about the last eight years. However, George Bush was not a conservative, especially in the last few years of his presidency. However, in the end after the Obama presidency, you will wish you had George Bush for another 4 years.

Spending the kind of money Obama and the liberals in congress are spending is literally destroying our country. We do not have the money for any of the big ideas he has.

It is heartening to know the Senate voted 96 against and only 6 for closing Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. No one other country will take the prisoners and no one wants them in our country. Obama made a huge mistake when he committed to closing Gitmo. Also, he is continuing the Bush policy regarding military tribunals. That isn’t the only thing Obama is quietly continuing regarding the so called “failed” policies of the Bush administration.

He is finding out that to campaign is one thing, to govern is another. So, George Bush isn’t quite the failure afterall.

My point is that slowly but surely Obama is beginning to see things go against him. He isn’t as smart as they make him out to be. I have heard him speak without a teleprompter and he is not very good off the cuff. He stumbles trying to figure out what to say.

So, this all goes back to the position that 2010 will be a journey on the road back for conservatives and conservative values. The liberal agenda has never worked and never will work. Just ask Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

getplaning,there is one state that could alter all your predictions,that is unemployment.start looking over your shoulder because if the unemployment rates rise to the12%which is being predicted ,and is the norm in most democratic socialist countries,you guys are gone.people never thought it possible that the tory party in england would ever get elected again,look at the polling out there.so if i was you i would hold back on the crowing.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

because the tax increase proposals failed here in california ,they are predicting many people in the government sector will loose their jobs.guess what?bush is not getting the blame,people know what the problem is, democratic state government,their spending has gotten out of control.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive