York: Voters Hate Reid-Still Reelect Him

November 4th, 2010 at 1:32 am | 11 Comments |

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Byron York writes:

LAS VEGAS — At polling places across Nevada Tuesday, researchers conducting exit polls asked voters one fundamental question about Harry Reid: Do you approve or disapprove of the way he has handled his job as senator? The results were terrible for the Senate Majority Leader. Fifty-five percent of voters disapproved of the job he has done, while 44 percent approved. Such numbers might seem a sure indicator of defeat, and yet by Tuesday night, Reid was leading his supporters in a victory celebration.

The exit pollsters also asked whether Reid, running for a fifth term in the Senate, has been in Washington too long. Fifty-five percent of voters said yes, while 41 percent said no. And still Reid won.

It’s long been common knowledge here that many, many Nevadans don’t like their senior senator. What Tuesday’s exit polls showed was that their feelings go well beyond simple dislike. And yet, if the exit polls are correct, a significant number of people voted to re-elect a man they think isn’t doing a good job and who has stayed too long in the Senate. In the end, Reid won 50.2 percent of the vote to Republican challenger Sharron Angle’s 44.6 percent.

It would be hard to find a more telling measure of Angle’s deficiencies as a candidate or the devastating effectiveness of Reid’s scorched-earth negative campaign against her. Funded by millions of dollars from public-sector unions, Reid relentlessly attacked Angle from the moment she won the GOP nomination. Many of the earliest attacks went unanswered, forming impressions of Angle so negative that they outweighed the voters’ negative opinion of Reid.

And then there was Reid’s organizational strength. Both Reid and Angle held their election-night parties in Las Vegas casinos, Reid in the new Aria complex and Angle at the Venetian. That’s nothing out of the ordinary in Nevada, but the difference between them was that Reid was entirely at home, with the enormous financial power and organizing muscle of the gambling industry and its union allies in his corner, while Angle was relying on votes from people who live far from Las Vegas. Republicans across the country who were hoping for a miracle in this race discovered that raw power wins the day.

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11 Comments so far ↓

  • JeninCT

    Raw power and corruption.

  • balconesfault

    Interestingly, per CNN House exit polls, 52% of Americans said they had an unfavorable opinion of the Republican Party … including 23% of the voters who voted Republican in the election.

    It would be hard to find a more telling measure of Angle’s deficiencies as a candidate or the devastating effectiveness of Reid’s scorched-earth negative campaign against her.

    This is an interesting comment. Does York wish to extrapolate this to a broader level, and to be critical of all candidates who based their campaigns on attacking their opponents?

    That would be pretty much every GOP candidate nationwide, best I can tell.

  • TerryF98

    The GOP is hated far more than the Democrats but people who hate them voted for them. No real answer to that.

  • CD-Host

    The GOP is hated far more than the Democrats but people who hate them voted for them. No real answer to that.

    1) Many people like divided government
    2) Many people wanted to send a message
    3) The electorate for midterms is older, whiter and more conservative

  • rbottoms

    It’s simple to understand, we are a 49%/39% country and the only thing that matters is the 2% who change their minds every two years. If Satan and Jesus were running and Jesus was a Republican I’d pull the lever for Satan and work on replacing him in the next primary.

    I will never, ever vote for a Republican for any office ever.

    The only thing that does change is how involved I get in helping the Democrat win. I am pissed Blue Dogs spent two years kissing GOP ass, happy most of them got wiped or took their money and slunk off (Evan Bayh).

    What I want if for president Obama to start kicking the Republicans in the balls ever chance he gets an nurse the sincere hope you fools nominate Sarah Palin in 2012.

    It may be tougher is Bloomberg decides this is his time but in the end Obama will get his second term beneficiary of the improving economy teh GOP crazy.

  • CD-Host

    rbottoms –

    49%/49% country and the only thing that matters is the 2% who change their minds every two years …an nurse the sincere hope you fools nominate Sarah Palin in 2012

    You do understand you are contradicting yourself here. If the electorate were that polarized choice of candidate would make very little difference. The more independent the electorate the more the individual candidates matter, the less independent the less they matter.

    Reality is that its not just 2% that swing. The number of real independents is grossly overstated I agree with you there, but I’d say its over a third of the electorate that can move. They often move in opposite directions based on unusual stuff, so to cancel each other out but Castle v. O’Donnald against Coons is a perfect example of where they don’t.

  • easton

    rbottoms, Jesus could never run as a Republican, bleeding heart liberals could never possibly win, and as far as Satan, Well he was happy pulling Cheney’s strings for 8 years.

    Jen, what evidence do you have for corruption? Are you saying that Reid did not legitimately win the election? Can you not appreciate that millions of people viewed Angle as an eccentric loon? She went to a Hispanic gathering, told them they look Asian, then said she did too.

    Outside of Paul and Toomey I have no beef with any other Republican elected in the Senate. Shouldn’t that be the point, don’t alienate the hell out of the center?

  • CentristNYer

    “York: Voters Hate Reid-Still Reelect Him”

    True. But voters also hate fiscal irresponsibility and yet voted in lots of tea partiers who have no clue what they’re doing. Go figure.

  • drcme

    Raw power did not win the election. Angle’s far-right views lost the election. Most Dems I know aren’t crazy about Reid either. Note to Tea partiers and Republicans: when you have multiple Nevada Republicans coming out in favor of a Democrat that has this high of negatives, you know you have jumped the shark with your candidate. Please, oh please, keep nominating the very far righties.

  • HighCountry

    Yep, Sharron Angle was THAT BAD as a candidate. Seriously, this was the best person the GOP could come up with to run against Reid?

  • TAZ

    I cant wait for the Angle show on Fox, watch out Hannity and Beck……..