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Tags: Sharron Angle

The Most Tragic Love Story of Our Time



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I think this latest ad from Sharron Angle is a good one, because it’s a little funny, it’s pretty straightforward and hard to refute, and it’s easy to remember.

I see it and think about all the optimistic talk about job creation when the stimulus passed, and I’m assured that the Angle folks have a good, long memory about Harry Reid’s confidence that these policies would help bring down Nevada’s unemployment rate.

The ad buy for Angle is 1600 points — again, for most campaigns, that’s a normal buy for the final week or so.

UPDATE: From a reader: “I’ve been a critic of her campaign to date, but if she keeps running ads like that I would nominate Sharron Angle for Sun King.”

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

Sharron Angle: Rod Blagojevich Is Right -- in Comparing Himself to Reid, at Least.



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Sharron Angle agrees with Rod Blagojevich . . .

. . . when he says that his ethics are no different from Harry Reid’s.

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

It’s Like They’re Playing a Game Called ‘Sharron Says’



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Sharron Angle is calling on Harry Reid to apologize to General Petraeus.

Considering how Reid reacted to her challenge on the mosque issue, I expect we’ll hear Reid apologize soon . . .

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

Nevada’s ‘Recovery Summer’ Feels a Lot Like ‘Season of Decline’



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Great news, Harry Reid. Unemployment in Nevada has declined from 14.2 percent to 14.3 percent!

Okay, so technically, 14.3 is higher than 14.2, and so actually, Nevada’s jobs crisis got worse. But I figure that spin is no worse than everything else you have tried.

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

Pondering Nevada’s Ballot Order . . .



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According to a sample ballot for Clark County, Nevada, candidates for office will be listed alphabetically. 

Good news for Sharron Angle, bad news for next-to-last Harry Reid.

The somewhat better news for Reid is that federal offices are listed ahead of state offices. Harry Reid’s son, Rory Reid, is running for governor and trails badly. I suspect that if voters vote against the first Reid, they’ll be inclined to vote against the second one, and vice versa.

You think ballot order doesn’t matter? Ask Alvin Greene.

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

A Small, but Interesting, Shift in Rasmussen’s Nevada Poll



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Hey, look who just went from down by 2 to a tie in the Rasmussen poll in Nevada’s Senate race?

The U.S. Senate race in Nevada remains very close.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the state shows Democratic Senator Harry Reid and his Republican challenger Sharron Angle tied with 47% of the vote each. Five percent (5%) prefer some other candidate, and two percent (2%) are undecided.

Two weeks ago, Reid held a two-point advantage over Angle.

Also note:

When leaners are included in the new totals, Angle attracts 50% of the vote, while Reid picks up 48%. This is the first Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 survey in Nevada to include leaners. Leaners are those who initially indicate no preference for either of the candidates but answer a follow-up question and say they are leaning towards a particular candidate.

It’s as if Angle had launched a big television-advertising offensive that was going toe-to-toe with Reid and freezing the race where it is, instead of holding her resources until the fall. Something like $575,000 in a week. Somebody ought to write about that.

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

Harry Reid Adopts Sharron Angle’s Position on the Ground Zero Mosque



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This morning, the campaign of GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle issued this statement:

Our forefathers made it very clear in the U.S. Constitution that people of all faiths have the right to practice their religion here in America.  As with all religions, Muslims have the right to worship in New York or Nevada or any state in our nation. 

However, by supporting the construction of a mosque at Ground Zero, President Obama has once again ignored the wishes of the American people, this time at the expense of victims of 9/11 and their families.  They have said overwhelmingly that the location of this mosque is an affront to the memories of their loved ones who were murdered by Islamic extremists on 9/11.  Their wishes should be respected.

As the Majority Leader, Harry Reid is usually President Obama’s mouthpiece in the U.S. Senate, and yet he remains silent on this issue.   Reid has a responsibility to stand up and say no to the mosque at Ground Zero or once again side with President Obama — this time against the families of 9/11 victims. America is waiting.

Now we learn that indeed, Harry Reid opposes the construction of the mosque at the location in question.

Sharron Angle leads, Harry Reid follows.

Any Democratic donors want their money back?

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

Is There a Trend Toward Reid Emerging? Or Has It Emerged and Passed?



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Publius, at a site I am previously unfamiliar with:

In arguing that Angle’s strategy is working, Geraghty is putting a lot of weight behind the shift in the Mason Dixon poll in Nevada from D+7 to D+1. 

There’s a new Mason-Dixon poll out this morning that puts Reid up 2. It’s the only one done since the first of the month; Reuters-Ipsos conducted a poll that ended August 1 that showed Reid up 4. To get a sense of momentum or movement in a race, I prefer to compare a poll to the previous one conducted by the same pollster; you figure that whatever the quirks of an individual pollster, that pollster is consistent in their quirks. The Reuters-Ipsos one was their first in the state, so we have nothing previous to compare it to and get any sense of movement.

Publius writes:

The trend towards Reid is emerging, however. Six of the past 7 polls have shown a lead for Reid. The 7 polls before that gave Angle the lead six of seven times.

Er, yes, but six of those seven polls showing Angle ahead were from before the primary, going back to March. How well did Nevadans — particularly independents — know Sharron Angle before the primary? How many folks saw her on the ballot as “not Reid”?

Publius also writes, “You have to admire Geraghty’s devotion to a cause.” Boy, he hasn’t been reading me for a very long time, huh?

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

Now if I Can Just Get Ralston to Read the Whole Piece . . .



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Jon Ralston is the most influential reporter in Nevada politics, so it’s nice to be read by him. It would be nice to be read a little closer, though.

Ralston:

I was amused to read National Review Online’s Jim Geraghty praise the new Angle strategy this week and correctly distill the Reid plan: “Define Angle early, destroy her reputation in an onslaught of negative ads, and eke out a victory in a low-turnout matchup.” Yes, although he missed the attempt to push voters into “none of these candidates” or to Ashjian, who may yet be kicked off the ballot, but now claims he is ready to wage a competitive campaign, mostly on the Internet.

The piece in question:

One key thing the Angle campaign will have to worry about is the “none of the above” option on Nevada’s ballots. It is highly plausible that at some point, Reid or an aligned group will attempt to diffuse the anti-incumbent message by promoting the idea, probably through voter-contact mail, of “sending a message to Washington” by voting this way. The Angle campaign expects it can find the financing to counter such a message, by emphasizing that every vote for “none of the above” will make it easier for Harry Reid to squeak by.

Then again, that paragraph was shrewdly hidden on the second page of the article.

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

The Sharron Angle Campaign’s Strategy: To Win in November, Go Toe-to-Toe Now



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Over on the home page, I take a look at the Sharron Angle campaign and their recent moves in Nevada’s Senate race. Harry Reid is trying to end this race early by spending a ton on television advertising early; they’ve countered by doing the same. It’s a gamble, but somehow that seems fitting for the state that includes Las Vegas.

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

Sharron Angle Reminds Harry Reid About His Earlier Words for Petraeus



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The Sharron Angle campaign enjoys pointing out that Harry Reid once declared that he “didn’t believe” Gen. David Petraeus, and once declared “this war is lost.”

If Petraeus says we’re making progress in Afghanistan, will Harry Reid believe him?

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

Sharron Angle Takes to the Airwaves, Again and Again



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I will have a longer take on these matters in the not-too-distant future, but if you’ve been keeping an eye on the high-stakes Nevada Senate race, you know that Sharron Angle’s campaign has been making a lot of television and web ads – see here, here, and here.

And these are not small buys for these ads; I’m told the point totals are comparable to autumn-level in most places. When Angle won the primary, Harry Reid pursued one of the only strategies left available to him: Spend a ton early and try to define Angle as a loon, make her unelectable, and hang on in November despite the state’s miserable economic conditions.

Angle’s counter-move is gutsy: With money coming in fast, her campaign figures waiting until the fall will be too late. Team Angle is using the funds coming in now to ensure competitiveness. Judging by her jump in the Mason-Dixon poll, it’s working.

It’s a circle; advertising keeps her poll numbers up; if the poll numbers stay up, people think she’s going to win and they keep writing checks, which is used to fund more advertising. If either gets interrupted, she’ll fall behind, and GOP donors will give to other candidates instead.

Her approach has worked so far. But the Angle campaign, perhaps more than any other candidate’s, needs to keep up their current pace of fundraising for the final stretch.

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

Nevada’s Senate Race Comes Down to One Big Issue: Coked-Up Stimulus Monkeys



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Okay, Sharron Angle campaign. With a subject line like this, you’ve got my attention:

For Immediate Release

HARRY REID’S PLAN TO SAVE THE NEVADA ECONOMY: COKED-UP STIMULUS MONKEYS

Nevada – In the face of the worst recession since the Great Depression, where has the money from Harry Reid’s stimulus bill gone to help our ailing economy? Cocaine-addled monkeys and a million dollars worth of exotic ants, according to a new report out this morning.

“Harry Reid says ‘no one can do more’ for Nevada. We had no idea Harry’s plan of ‘more’ meant spending millions on coked-up monkeys and exotic ants while our state is ravaged by the worst foreclosure rate and highest unemployment rate in the nation,” said Jerry Stacy, spokesman for U.S. Senatorial Sharron Angle.

Other examples of how the stimulus has squandered taxpayer dollars include $750,000 towards creating a YouTube-like computerized dance choreography program; $300,000 to study the effects of “integral yoga” upon hot flashes; and $60,000 to study public perception of stimulus spending.

“Harry Reid promised his $787 billion stimulus bill would create jobs. Instead of creating jobs, this wasteful bill has piled on ‘more’ massive debt and ‘more’ unemployment in Nevada since the bill’s passage,” Stacy said. “Nevada needs a Senator who will fight for economic policies that fosters an environment which encourages real job creation and gets Nevada moving again. That’s Sharron Angle.”

A New Report Out This Morning Highlights The Massive Amounts Of Waste In Harry Reid’s Stimulus Bill:

A Few Examples Of The Waste Highlighted In The Report Include:

—     $71,623 To Study How Monkeys Are Affected By Cocaine. “The Coburn-McCain report takes issue with stimulus spending on projects like one that entailed research on how cocaine affects monkeys. The Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center was awarded $71,623 to study what the report calls, ‘Monkeys Getting High for Science.’”
(Jonathan Karl, Matthew Jaffe, and Gregory Simmons, “Stimulus Slammed: Republican Senators Release Report Alleging Waste,” ABC News, www.abcnews.go.co, 8/3/10)

—     $1 Million On A Grant To Study Ants In The Indian Ocean Islands And East Africa. “Go a little further down the list and you’ll find even bigger spending. The California Academy of Sciences is receiving nearly $1 million in stimulus funds to send researchers to the Southwest Indian Ocean Islands and East Africa to capture, photograph and analyze thousands of exotic ants.” (Jonathan Karl, Matthew Jaffe, and Gregory Simmons, “Stimulus Slammed: Republican Senators Release Report Alleging Waste,” ABC News, www.abcnews.go.co, 8/3/10)

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

How Trailing by 1 Is a Major Improvement Over Trailing by 2



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I said the last Rasmussen poll showing Sharron Angle trailing by 2 — down from ahead by 3 in early July and ahead by 11 in early June — was “abysmal” news. Today’s Las Vegas Review-Journal poll showing Angle down 1, 43 percent to 42 percent, is actually pretty good news, all things considered.

Before the inevitable “Jim, you’ve lost your mind,” I think a key factor to focus upon is the trends within each individual pollster’s results. Rasmussen suggested a steady slide. This new poll is from Mason-Dixon, one of the longest-running and best-established pollsters. In their last one, Reid led, 44 percent to 37 percent.

So in Mason-Dixon’s sense of the race, Reid still can’t break 44 percent and has slid a bit; Angle has stopped the bleeding and is actually getting back some of those supporters who were wavering. (Angle’s biggest lead in a Mason-Dixon poll was 5 percentage points, back in January.)

I’d like to see some other polls show the same trend before I declare disaster averted. And Angle’s still in a race where she has to demonstrate she’s a better option than Reid, not merely an alternative; I’m wary of Nevada’s “none of the above” being listed on the ballot. But this has got to be the most reassuring trailing-by-1 poll of this cycle.

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

What Should Sharron Angle Do?



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A few readers disagree with my glum assessment of Sharron Angle’s circumstances, but fewer than I expected. As I noted, Harry Reid still has lousy job-approval numbers. Pretty terrible ones, in fact, and it appears Obama is going to be an albatross in this state. And sure, Reid is spending a ton on negative ads — except he spent a ton in preceding months with no effect on the polls whatsoever.

Three thoughts on what Angle ought to do . . .

Appeal to Independents: Angle is one of the most conservative lawmakers in the state, and while Nevada is souring on Obama and has plenty of Tea Party activity, it is not a classic red state. It’s a more purple one, and so Angle needs to offer something to the voters who are sour on both Reid and traditional Republicans.

One of the issues I thought might give her trouble was her past enthusiasm for that drug-treatment program with ties to Scientology. But most people don’t give a moment’s thought to how authorities can help imprisoned criminals overcome their additions. You don’t seek out effective prison drug-treatment programs unless you have a deep vein of compassion for the condemned and a desire to help those who have fallen about as far down as they can get. Angle could/should “play against type” and talk, in depth, about what drove her to want to help those whom society has dismissed as hopeless, and provide a serious second chance for those who have made bad decisions with terrible consequences for their lives and loved ones.

I’m picking this as an example. Angle would do well to demonstrate some area where her past stands and votes contradict the right-wing caricature of her that Reid is trying to paint.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: This anecdote made me just lay my head on the desk for a while:

A local actress named Dee Drenta asked Angle what she would do to help people find work. But instead of seizing what seemed like an easy chance to explain her jobs plan, the candidate revealed that she didn’t have one.

“It really comes from the statehouse to incentivize that kind of stuff in our state,” Angle said. “Truly, the lieutenant governor, Brian Krolicki, you should have this conversation with him. That’s his job, to make sure that we get business into this state. My job is to create the climate so that everybody wants to come.”

The woman gave her a puzzled look. “I’m sure you’re probably planning on working with these people to do these things,” Drenta said, hopefully. “Because it’s the end result that matters, whether it’s specifically in the job description or not.”

Unemployment in Nevada is 14.2 percent. Angle is going to get variations of this question over and over again between now and November, so she had better have a kick-butt answer to that question. I don’t care if she prefers a payroll-tax suspension, deferring or eliminating capital-gains taxes on new start-ups, domestic oil and natural-gas drilling, or getting some of these stalled trade deals passed, but she must have something to tout as a jobs-creating idea.

Jujitsu: One problem with Angle is that, according to Rasmussen, Nevadans think she’s extreme. What’s the opposite of extreme? Mush, evasiveness, slipperiness, opacity. One big reason Reid is in trouble is that the agenda he’s working to enact in Washington is the opposite of what Nevadans want. I suspect Nevadans don’t think Angle will ever lie to them, nor will they ever doubt where she stands on anything. She may have some opportunity for a variation of the Kerry vs. Bush dynamic, contrasting a flip-flopper or lawmaker who misleads his constituents on his true views and agenda with a lawmaker who is always clear and never equivocates, and whose values are indisputable.

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

An Absolutely Abysmal Poll for Sharron Angle



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Harry Reid now leads in the Rasmussen poll, 45 percent to 43 percent.

The firm now classifies the seat as “Leans Democrat.”

I’ve talked to Nevada Republicans who aren’t giving up. Some of them say that Angle is getting a bit better at message discipline, focusing on emphasizing her message instead of getting drawn into what Reid and his allies want to talk about. She’s bringing in new staffers, and she still has an easier task, of simply convincing Nevadans she’s better than an incumbent whom they have decided they don’t like.

But this is an appalling poll result when Rasmussen finds 49 percent of Nevadans “strongly disapprove” of Obama’s job performance, and 48 percent “strongly disapprove” of Reid’s job performance, and 55 percent describe their financial situation as “getting worse.”

What’s hurting the Republican? For starters, an astounding 58 percent find Angle’s positions “extreme.”

If only someone had foreseen Angle’s challenges in the general election.

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

Rough Sailing for Angle in Early Weeks of Campaign



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Since winning the primary election and the opportunity to thwart Harry Reid’s bid for a fifth senate term, it’s been rough seas and tough sailing for Republican nominee and Tea Party darling Sharron Angle. Her campaign has struggled with problems both situational and self-created while attempting to dodge a barrage of well-aimed torpedoes from the decks of a formidable Harry Reid campaign machine. 

A Nevada press corps eager to obtain footage for the evening news or fodder for punditry has criticized Angle, with some validity, for limiting or altogether avoiding question-and-answer sessions, even at press events her own campaign hosts. Some of the questions posed have been tough, not unreasonable, and Angle’s seeming reluctance to step up to the plate and swing at a few hardballs has not played well for her.

In an interview earlier this month with Christian Broadcasting Network, Angle defended her media strategy, saying she prefers to appear in places she can plug her website and ask for donations. She did raise an impressive $2.6 million in the last cycle and, in all fairness to her, it is not uncommon for a candidate to give preference to friendly media forums, especially in the early weeks of a campaign.

Moreover, not long after her primary win, Angle did submit to a half-hour in the hot seat with political commentator and grillmaster Jon Ralston on his statewide television show Face to Face. She deserves some credit for that. But the after-interview flaming she took for many of her lackluster answers likely contributed to her campaign’s cautious attitude toward tough interviews.

When asked last week whether they plan to change their approach to media relations, Angle’s press secretary and acting spokesperson, Jerry Stacy, said they receive over 100 requests for interviews each day from both Nevadan and national media and that there is only so much face time she can give while also trying to travel and do fundraising. Stacy also questioned the wisdom of granting interviews to a “hostile media” that is “going to try to spin things against Sharron Angle no matter what she says.”

Hostile media or not, Angle has had a fairly serious messaging problem in the first six weeks of her campaign. Her comments at times provide free ammunition to the opposition. Saying it was not her job as a senator to create jobs was understandable based on Angle’s conservative ideology, but it sounded unsympathetic when coupled with prior remarks that many people collecting unemployment benefits are “spoiled.” With Nevada’s unemployment rate at 14 percent and foreclosures among the highest in the nation, Angle will have to learn to navigate carefully the rhetorical waters if she hopes to win the hearts and minds of suffering voters.

Professional consultants from D.C. and operatives from the National Republican Senatorial Committee recently arrived in Nevada to help her hone her message. But even as Team Angle regroups, Harry Reid’s campaign and the state Democratic party both have been attempting (with some success) to paint Angle as a dangerous and wacky extremist. 

Despite Angle’s attempt to make subtle adjustments to past positions and soften her rhetoric for the general election–for example, she now says she wants to “personalize” and “protect” Social Security, rather than privatize or eliminate it, and she suggests that education is best funded and managed at a local level rather than by an ineffective federal bureaucracy–Team Reid has been adeptly using their apparently massive archive of Angle’s past statements to pull her down in the polls.

Up by double digits as she came off her primary win, Angle has now slipped either into a dead heat with or well behind Reid depending on your pollster of preference.

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

Dina Titus’ Vote of Confidence for Harry Reid



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Politico notes that Rep. Dina Titus, Nevada Democrat, is approaching reelection this year by emphasizing local issues and distancing herself from the national party.

Titus was clear to distinguish herself from her colleagues.

“I’m not [Barack] Obama; I’m not Harry Reid; I’m not Nancy Pelosi. I’m Dina Titus and I’ve been there for you every day,” she said.

Dina Titus’s district also makes up one-third of Nevada’s electorate. Quite the vote of confidence for Harry Reid when the local Democratic congresswoman doesn’t want her views to be mistaken for his views, huh?

UPDATE: Man, nobody wants to be associated with Harry Reid: “He’s my father,” Rory said of Harry. “Not my political mentor.”

Tags: Dina Titus , Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

Harry Reid, Running on His Record, Just Not His Recent Record



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Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, to David Brody:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: “I don’t grin but I do smile just a little bit because you can’t go anyplace in America today that people’s approval ratings are very high.”

Louisiana: “So far the governor [Bobby Jindal's] handling of the spill appears to have paid off. A recent poll by Rasmussen Research found that 74 percent of likely voters approve of the governor’s job performance, up 10 percent since April.”

Mississippi: “A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Mississippi finds that 70% approve of the job Republican Governor Haley Barbour is doing.”

Reid: We have an economic situation that’s not only in Nevada. It’s all over the country and also we have a unique situation in Nevada. I haven’t had a difficult election for 12 years. During that 12 year period of time we’ve had 600,000 new people move to the state of Nevada. They don’t know me but they’ve seen that during a lot of this last number of years me is me trying to fight with George Bush because he’s trying to privatize social security or arguing about the war in Iraq and other policies of his. I thought that all the red ink was bad and I complained about that so people are going to have to get to know me, the 600,000 people who are now here who I am, a moderate kind of guy. That’s how I got elected so I feel comfortable where I am. I have a campaign that’s moving along just fine. I feel comfortable where we are today.”

Judging from the spending bills coming through the Senate, Harry Reid stopped worrying about red ink on January 20, 2009.

It’s a rather strange argument from Reid; it seems he’s arguing that he had a more moderate record in the earlier part of his career, and that when he became the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, he became defined by the party’s stances as more liberal than his state. (He should ask Tom Daschle about this phenomenon.) But why should Reid get credit for moderate stances from before 2004? If a voter doesn’t like Obamacare, thinks the stimulus was largely wasted, thinks cap-and-trade would cost jobs, and thinks Congress has grown ever more arrogant and unresponsive, why should any Nevada voter think, “Yeah, but I really liked his stances in 2003?”

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

For Once, I Can’t Complain About Some Polling Samples



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Recently I’ve discussed at length Public Policy Polling, their clients, and the partisan breakdown of their partisan polls. In many cases, I think their samples include too many Democrats to provide a reliable assessment of how the candidates stand at this point.

But I can’t say that about two of their recent polls that are giving Republicans heartburn, showing Harry Reid narrowly leading Sharron Angle in Nevada and Charlie Crist leading Marco Rubio in Florida.

We ought to cut pollsters some slack in their partisan breakdowns; they’re trying to account for constantly shifting changes in Republican enthusiasm, Democratic enthusiasm, and independent enthusiasm, while looking at history and trying to determine whether this year’s cycle will be similar to past cycles or will represent a dramatic break. But I think we can get some sense of 2010 already. Turnout will obviously trail the 2008 turnout for the presidential race; with a few exceptions, the Republican base will be enthused and the first-time Obama voters of 2008 are not a safe bet to return. I like to use the 2008 presidential-election exit polls as a rough ceiling of the Democrats’ share of the electorate; I find it hard to imagine Democrats will outperform the turnout that was driven by their members’ desire to elect the first African-American president.

In Nevada, the PPP sample splits 41 percent Democrat, 39 percent Republican, 20 percent independent. According to CNN’s exit poll, in 2008 Nevada voters split 38 percent Democrat, 32 percent Republican, 32 percent independent. While Democrats technically make up a slightly larger share of the PPP sample, the ratio to Republicans is smaller (almost 1:1), and some drop-off among independents makes sense between a presidential and a midterm election.

In Florida, their sample splits 40 percent Democrat, 40 percent Republican, 20 percent independent. CNN’s exit poll had Florida’s 2008 electorate splitting 37 percent Democrat, 34 percent Republican, 29 percent independent. Again, some drop-off among independents makes sense.

I will say that PPP’s observation that Charlie Crist is performing better among Republicans since leaving the party is pretty darn counterintuitive. But I suppose it’s a possible side effect of Crist pounding the table about an offshore-drilling moratorium, or just a quirky midsummer sample.

Tags: Harry Reid , Sharron Angle

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