Harry Reid's New Angle: The Economy

Harry Reid has campaigned for much of he fall on the notion that his opponent, Sharron Angle, is crazy and extreme.

He's still doing that, but he's also including another dimension in that attack line: the economy.

In Reid's final week and a half of TV advertising, he'll air two ads that feature Nevada business leaders talking about how indispensable Reid is to saving jobs in Nevada.

"Let's start with the fact that I'm a Republican," says MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren. "There's nobody that's done more for the state."

"We need the Majority Leader," says Southern Wine & Spirits Senior Managing Director Larry Ruvo.

Mixed in with executives who warn that Angle would cost jobs for Nevada, these voices constitute a more positive message for Reid in the home stretch of his famously difficult re-election bid--one that dovetails with his sustained efforts to paint Angle as a lunatic, as the ads simultaneously accuse Angle of being "reckless, radical, and extreme."

The economy has been seen as a liability for Reid throughout much of this election cycle, as the state has been one of the hardest--if not the hardest--hit by the recession. Nevada leads the nation in unemployment with a current rate of 14.4 percent and has led the nation in foreclosures for the past 15 consecutive quarters, according to RealtyTrac. One in every 29 Nevada homes received a foreclosure notice in the third quarter of 2010.

But in the final week and a half, Reid's TV campaign will continue trying to convince voters that his status as the most powerful member of the Senate is critical for the state, and--like President Obama has done in his own public comments on the stimulus--Reid will point to a concept that's difficult to quantify: jobs he's saved in the midst of the downturn.

See the ads below. They're almost identical; one is cut for Northern Nevada, the other for Southern.