Reid's political troubles grow in Nevada 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his son Rory once promised to be a potent one-two punch for statewide elective office in Nevada this year -- the father for re-election to a fifth term in the Senate and the son for governor.

Now, as the majority leader looks for cover after racially charged comments about then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008 came to light, residents of the Silver State seem to have so much disdain for the Reid name, that father and son are poised to get crushed in their November elections.

"It would probably destroy the family's political dynasty in one fell swoop," said Brad Coker, managing partner of Mason-Dixon Polling and Research, which has conducted a series of polls in recent months for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Coker's most recent poll, released over the weekend, showed Harry Reid has been unable to improve voters' opinion of him, despite a recent television ad blitz. According to the poll, 52 percent of voters held an unfavorable view of Reid, with just 33 percent holding a favorable view.

The survey showed the elder Reid trailing all potential GOP challengers, one by 10 points.

"If I had to bet today, I'd bet he loses," veteran Republican pollster Ed Goeas said.

Coker said it would not be inconceivable for Reid to step aside in order to give his son's campaign a fighting chance.

Rory Reid trails Republican Brian Sandoval 49 percent to 34 percent in the governor's race according to a Mason-Dixon poll conducted last month. Rory Reid's negative rating has spiked 15 points in the last couple of months, which Coker and other political analysts attribute to his father's unpopularity.

Neither Reid campaign benefited from the revelation last weekend that Harry Reid in 2008 touted then-presidential candidate Obama as a "light skinned" with "no negro dialect."

The weekend revelation renewed attention to Harry Reid's re-election woes, but he has pledged to remain in office and shows no immediate signs of following in the footsteps of Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who last week announced his retirement in the face of dismal poll numbers, giving the party a chance to hang on to the seat with a new Democratic candidate.

"I have not heard any talk of him dropping out," said Nancy Epstein, who chairs Nevada's Douglas County Democratic Central Committee.

State Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford said he anticipates the elder Reid's poll numbers will rise if the sweeping health care reform bill gets signed into law.

"There is no person more capable in the U.S. Senate at making sure President Obama's agenda is successful than Senator Reid," Horsford said.

But according to the Mason-Dixon poll only 35 percent of Nevadans support the health care overhaul being pushed by Reid, down 4 points from last month.

"Reid is making Herculean efforts to pass Obama's agenda, which adds up to impending disaster for his re-election campaign," Coker said.

sferrechio@washingtonexaminer.com

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