Monday, March 8, 2010

Election 2010: Nevada Senate

Election 2010: Nevada Senate
Nevada Senate: Two GOP Hopefuls Take Longer Lead on Reid

Two of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Republican challengers have again crossed the 50% threshold and now hold double-digit leads in Nevada’s U.S. Senate race. One big hurdle for the incumbent is that most Nevada voters are strongly opposed to the health care legislation championed by Reid and President Barack Obama.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in the state finds Sue Lowden, ex-chairman of the Nevada Republican Party, with a 51% to 38% lead on Reid. Seven percent (7%) prefer some other candidate, but just three percent (3%) are undecided.

Businessman Danny Tarkanian posts a similar 50% to 37% lead over the embattled Democratic leader. Nine percent (9%) opt for another candidate, and four percent (4%) are undecided.

Last month, Reid earned 39% of the vote against both Republicans, while Lowden picked up 45% and Tarkanian 47% in their respective match-ups with him.

Tarkanian hit 50% in January, and both he and Lowden posted that level of supportlast September.

Last fall Reid’s support was in the 40s. Since then, it’s been trending down into the 30s, suggesting that the Senate race continues to be a referendum on Reid rather than a show of support for his GOP opponents.

Former Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, continues to run weakest of the three top Republican hopefuls, but this month she leads Reid 46% to 38%. In January, she had a 44% to 40% lead.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

Forty-five percent (45%) have a favorable view of the so-called Tea Party movement. Thirty percent (30%) view it unfavorably, and 25% are not sure what they think.

Only 23% of the state’s voters consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement.

Any incumbent who is earning less than 50% at this stage of a campaign is considered potentially vulnerable. Reid, who is seeking a fifth term in the Senate, received 61% of the vote in 2004.

Forty-one percent (41%) of Nevada voters support the health care plan championed by Reid and now working its way through Congress. Fifty-six percent (56%) oppose it, which is slightly higher than opposition nationally.

More significantly for Reid, those figures include just 24% who Strongly Favor the plan and 51% who are strongly opposed. Those who strongly favor the plan overwhelmingly support Reid, while those who strongly oppose it overwhelmingly support the Republicans.

Sixty-five percent (65%) of Nevada voters also think it would be better for the country if most incumbents were not reelected to Congress this November. Only 32% say their local congressional representative deserves reelection.

Twenty percent (20%) of voters in the state have a very favorable opinion of Reid, while 48% view him very unfavorably.

For Lowden, very favorables are 18%, and very unfavorables total 12%.

Tarkanian is viewed very favorably by 15% and very unfavorably by eight percent (8%).

Nine percent (9%) have a very unfavorable view of Angle, and the same number (9%) see her very unfavorably.

At this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with a strong opinion more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.

While Barack Obama carried Nevada with 55% of the vote in 2008, just 44% of voters in the state now approve of the job he is doing as president, marking little change from last month. Fifty-seven percent (57%) disapprove of the president’s performance. These findings include 27% who strongly approve and 47% who strongly disapprove. This is comparable to Obama's approval ratings in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

Thirty-six percent (36%) say the president has done a good or excellent job handling the health care issue, but 54% rate his performance in this area as poor.

While the president pushes to get his health care plan back on track, 60% of Nevada voters say the better strategy would be to pass smaller bills that address problems individually rather than a comprehensive bill like the one now before Congress. Just 29% see a comprehensive bill as a better move.

When it comes to health care decisions, 51% fear the federal government more than private insurance companies. Forty-four percent (44%) fear private insurers more. Those figures are similar to the national average.

Thirty-three percent (33%) in Nevada expect the economy to be stronger in a year’s time, but 41% think it will be weaker. Again, the views of Nevada voters are similar to the views of Americans nationally. Just 23% say it’s possible for anyone who really wants to work to find a job these days. Fifty-six percent (56%) disagree.

Forty-five percent (45%) have a favorable view of the so-called Tea Party movement. Thirty percent (30%) view it unfavorably, and 25% are not sure what they think.

Only 23% of the state’s voters consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement.

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