The new normal in Nevada: Reid and Angle tied

When Sharron Angle came out of the Republican primary in Nevada, oddly enough she was vulnerable. She got no unity bounce, instead taking a stream of attacks from Republicans nationwide. As a result, Harry Reid went on the air for the knockout.

He didn’t get it. Even the new Mason Dixon/LVRJ poll has stabilized.

That poll has never been friendly to Angle, even before the primary, so when it gives her good news, that’s very good news for her. She’d been dropping in that poll as well as others, and Reid had been rising, so it’s good for her that it’s now nearly tied: Reid 45, Angle 44 (MoE 4). Yes, being behind usually isn’t good news for a candidate who once led for months, but when Mason Dixon had her down 7 at one point, this is solid movement in her direction.

In fact, Rasmussen last week showed the same thing, only without the usual Mason Dixon tilt against Angle: Angle 50, Reid 48 (MoE 4). This is also a four point swing in her direction from Rasmussen’s previous lead for Reid of 2.

So yes, I definitely conclude that Harry Reid’s attempt for the knockout on Sharron Angle has failed. He got a quick peak in the polls, but now he’s gotten to the point of diminishing returns, and the polls are settling in to a new normal: even. It’s almost as though Angle got an inverse primary bounce, as GOPers unhappy with her victory turned on her, but eventually that faded as other primaries attracted national attention.

Just the fact that challenger Angle is even with Majority Leader Reid by default could be great news for her. Reid, as an incumbent Democrat in a state carried by his party’s President and holding the top position in his party’s caucus, ought to be able to win without difficulty, but he’s only even. As long as Angle can get the money to push back when it counts, she’s right where she needs to be. Greg Sargent seems to agree, as well.

Though that fundraising Angle needs is not a sure thing for a candidate who’s been picked on by her own party like Angle has, the TEA party that secured Angle the primary to begin with has managed surprising results this year. Funding Angle could be one of them. It seems easier to steer grassroots funding to needy Senate candidates than it is for any other race in an off year, as they have great prominence (unlike candidates for the House) and national urgency (unlike candidates for Governor).

One final note: if you want to see the Review-Journal’s agenda in its continued posting on this topic, just see their picture pair and cringe.

Bay Area Newselection 2010Harry Reidsharron angle

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