A new Rasmussen Reports poll showing GOP challenger Sharron Angle surging ahead of No. 1 Senate Democrat Harry Reid has prompted one Democratic pundit to declare: "This race is fading away from Harry Reid."
Rasmussen Reports published a poll Thursday of likely Nevada voters showing Angle has opened up a four-point lead over Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada, 50 percent to 46 percent. It was the widest polling gap between the two candidates since June, although still just within the survey's margin of error.
Just one week ago, a previous Rasmussen poll showed Reid leading Angle 48 percent to 47 percent.
"This race is fading away from Harry Reid," Fox News commentator and Democratic pollster Douglas Schoen tells Newsmax.
He added that "Reid is sinking and the seat is in increasing jeopardy."
Schoen notes that ever since Reid pulled out into an early lead in the race, his lead has been slowly dissipating.
"To the extent that the election is a referendum on Reid," says Schoen, "he will lose as the state gives him more than a 50 percent negative rating."
Reid has been battered by a sub-40 percent approval among Nevada voters, who have suffered the double-whammy of high unemployment and massive mortgage foreclosures. Schoen tells Newsmax he now makes Angle a "clear favorite" to win the race.
Thursday Rasmussen poll was the second survey this week to show Angle opening up a lead over Reid.
On Tuesday, a Fox News poll showed Reid losing to Angle by a 49 percent to 46 percent margin.
While that poll also was within the statistical margin of error, the news for Reid is worse than the numbers would suggest.
Political analysts say that incumbents with high negative ratings need a significant lead going into Election Day, because they are less likely to receive votes from undecided voters who are already familiar with their policies.
In the case of Angle and the powerful Democrat who has just an 18.6 percent lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union, Reid appears to be heading in the wrong direction.
That Nevada voters are turning against Reid as the election approaches is ironic, given that when Angle first won the GOP nomination, many Reid supporters made no secret of their view that her nomination could mean Reid's salvation politically.
Reid's ads have consistently portrayed Angle as beyond the pale, denouncing what he called Angle's "crazy talk" and blaming her for "outright lies."
Pundits saw that sharp rhetoric as a transparent attempt to drive up Angle's negatives to get the disaffected Nevada electorate to stay home on Election Day or cast a ballot for "none of the above" -- an option for Nevada voters.
The latest polls results suggest voters are no longer taking their cues from Reid's deluge of advertising dollars. Her resurgence appears to vindicate grass-roots conservatives' controversial strategy of supporting small-government conservatives over better known GOP-establishment candidates in the primaries.
"The Tea Party Express endorsed Sharron Angle for Senate because she was the best candidate to carry a solid conservative message," Tea Party Express co-founder Sal Russo tells Newsmax.
"As voters think long and hard about this election," he adds, "we are confident they will not believe the campaign of distortion being waged by Harry Reid and they will elect Sharron Angle for real change."
As for the negative attacks against Angle, Russo comments: "The left is throwing everything they can at Angle, and the latest poll is great news for taking our country back."
On Sunday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal endorsed Angle, stating: "Seriously crippled by this much baggage, Sen. Reid has calculated that his survival depends on portraying Ms. Angle as an 'extremist' who would endanger women, children and the elderly.
"In fact, Ms. Angle is well within the mainstream on most issues and embraces a political philosophy popular with millions of Americans who are making themselves heard this election cycle," the editorial stated.
A vote for Reid, the editorial stated, "is a vote for the status quo in Washington."
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