Harry Reid's Slipping Support

Harry Reid, sacrificial lamb?

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On Monday, the Washington Post reports that despite talk of a popularity bump for Democrats after health care reform, a new poll shows Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid actually losing ground in a national poll. Support for the Democratic Party as a whole has not changed, though Obama and Pelosi have seen a boost from the new legislation. In addition to slipping national approval, Reid's favorability rating is declining in his home state of Nevada, where he faces a tough election in November. Could Harry Reid pay the ultimate political price for his work on health care reform, losing his seat in the fall elections?

  • Anti-Reid Tea Party Sentiment  At right-wing publication The American Spectator, Robert Stacy McCain records his impressions of the Tea Party rallies in Nevada. "Who will be the next Senator from Nevada?" he asks. "There's been no opportunity to interview Vegas oddsmakers since I arrived here Thursday, but 'Not Harry Reid' is certainly the odds-on favorite in that race."
  • Targeting Reid  Time's Mark Halperin says the Tea Partiers chose Reid's hometown--Searchlight, Nevada--for an event in order "to make it clear they have placed his defeat for re-election at the top of their 2010 to-do list." Could they succeed? "Reid's droopy poll numbers make it a real possibility."
  • Obama Could Help His Helper  " If there are places that Obama is likely to help or hurt by appearances on behalf of Senate Democrats," writes Tom Schaller at political number-crunching site FiveThirtyEight, "Nevada is the kind of state where in general it helps to have the president at your side." Reid, he notes, has invited Obama out to stump for him.
  • A Matter of Strategy?  Conservative blogger Dan Riehl notices, while comparing Harry Reid's "opposition" to that of Tom Daschle, the Democratic leader who lost his Senate seat in 2004, that the GOP beat Daschle by labeling him as"obstructionist." That, currently, is exactly what the Democrats are trying to do to Republicans. "If the GOP caves," says Riehl, "their base will abandon them, resulting in disaster in the fall."
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