Republicans are styling President Barack Obama’s fundraising trip next week to Las Vegas as a desperate measure to save the bacon of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has precipitously fallen in the polls, according to a report by The Hill.
What the opposition is hoping for is a reprise of the rise and fall of another leader – former Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D.
While Democrats emphasize that the presidential trip has been planned for a long time and is not related to any perceived imminent danger of Reid, D-Nev., losing his seat, the numbers game indicates otherwise.
The latest poll by the Las Vegas Review-Journal contains little good news for the veteran politician. Nearly half of Nevadans have had enough of Reid as the powerful Democrat heads into his re-election campaign. About a third of the state’s voters would re-elect Reid if the 2010 election were held today, according to the poll, but 45 percent say they would definitely vote to replace him. Seventeen percent would consider another candidate. Half of Nevada voters had an unfavorable view of Reid, while 38 percent had a favorable view and 11 percent a neutral opinion.
The Review-Journal noted further that Reid’s approval ratings at home have been subpar for years -- particularly since he ascended to Democratic leader in 2004 and to majority leader in 2006.
What’s more, hopes that things might take an uptick with the departure of President George W. Bush have not come to fruition. The Review-Journal described the poll as indicating voters bullish on Obama -- even as they are unhappy with Reid.
Much ado about nothing argue Reid loyalists, who point to the fact that the leader has already raised more than $5 million this quarter – after raising $2.2 million in the first quarter, according to The Hill.
Meanwhile, a Reid spokesman said they expect next week’s fundraiser to add “at least $1 million.”
“Don’t be tempted to Daschle-ize Reid,” one Democratic official told The Hill. “Nevada 2010 is not South Dakota 2004: George Bush not is at the head of the ticket, Barack Obama won Nevada by double digits and Reid has kept a very watchful eye on his own state.”
But others smell blood in the water.
Brian Walsh, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee was quick to lambaste the forthcoming Obama-Reid love-fest.
“Unfortunately for the majority leader, one night of rubbing elbows with President Obama and celebrity elites at a glitzy fundraiser is not going to mask a long voting record that’s increasingly out of step with Nevada,” Walsh said.
Walsh added that the big event, featuring such luminaries as Bette Midler and Sheryl Crow, “actually plays into Sen. Reid’s biggest problem facing reelection, which is the well-deserved feeling among his constituents that he consistently places Washington and special interests above the views and values of Nevadans.”
All pundit sparing aside, there’s still a very bright lining in the clouds for Reid – he still has no opponent in the race.
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