The Campaign Spot

Rasmussen: Angle 50, Reid 46

Rasmussen sees a little movement:

Republican challenger Sharron Angle has now moved to a four-point lead over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada’s bare-knuckles U.S. Senate race.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Nevada Voters shows Angle hitting the 50% mark for the first time since mid-August, while Reid earns 46% of the vote. Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate in the race, and two percent (2%) more are undecided. (To see question wording, click here.)

This marks the widest gap between the two candidates since late June, but the race remains a Toss-Up in the Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 Senate Balance of Power rankings.

Reid fans will argue the question should include “none of the above,” since that is a listed ballot option in Nevada. But I will be surprised if we don’t see the support for the third-party options and “none of the above” shrink in the final days. Voters, by and large, prefer to vote for a candidate who has a chance of winning. Many of the GOP presidential primaries in 2008 had two candidates separating from the pack in the final week or so, and in New Jersey last year, support for independent Chris Daggett withered in the final days. The non-Reid, non-Angle options will get some votes, but I’ll bet that Angle and Reid amount to at least 90 percent of the vote.

The total percentage of voters who voted third-party and “none of the above” in Nevada Senate races since 1986 has been: 5.6 percent, 6.47 percent, 4.4 percent, 4.2 percent, 3.8 percent, and 3.8 percent. That comes out to an average of 4.8 percent. At this point, Reid probably needs at least double the average to have a shot at winning.

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