Sharron Angle, following her come-from-behind Republican primary win Tuesday, has bounced to an 11-point lead over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada’s closely watched U.S. Senate race.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in Nevada, taken Wednesday night, shows Angle earning 50 percent support while Reid picks up 39 percent of the vote. Five percent like some other candidate, and 6 percent are undecided.
A month ago, Angle led Reid 48 percent to 40 percent but ran poorest against the incumbent of the three GOP primary hopefuls as she has for months.
Reid will try to portray Angle, a Christian conservative who drew heavily on tea party support for her win, as unacceptable to the state. Still, the race for now continues to be about the incumbent, who earned 61 percent of the vote when he was reelected in 2004 but whose support in this election cycle against any Republican candidate has never risen above the low 40s.
Despite their hotly contested primary, Republicans already appear to be solidifying behind Angle who now earns 88 percent support among voters in her party. Reid draws 68 percent support from Democrats. Voters not affiliated with either party prefer Angle by 10 points.
During intense primary battles, supporters of one candidate often say they won't vote for the party nominee in November. That was the case in 2008 as a large number of Hillary Clinton's supporters said they were not likely to support Barack Obama in the general election campaign. However, by Election Day, most Clinton supporters came home and voted for their party's nominee.
In line with voter sentiments nationally, 58 percent of Nevada voters favor repeal of the recently passed national healthcare bill, championed by Reid, while 41 percent oppose repeal. This includes 47 percent who strongly favor repeal and 29 percent who strongly oppose it.
Seventy-nine percent of those who strongly favor repeal support Angle. Eighty-five percent of the smaller group who strongly oppose repeal support Reid.
Sixty-four percent of voters in Nevada favor passage of a tough immigration law like Arizona’s in their state, nine points higher than support nationwide. Twenty-five percent oppose such a law in Nevada.
Angle gets 73 percent of the vote from those who favor a law like Arizona’s. Reid draws 84 percent support from those who oppose a law like that in their state.
Sixty-seven percent (67 percent) of all voters in Nevada also support the chief requirement of the Arizona law that local police check the immigration status of anyone stopped for a traffic violation or some other violation if they suspect the person is an illegal immigrant. Just 21 percent oppose that requirement.
Twenty-six percent (26 percent) of voters in Nevada have a very favorable opinion of Reid, who has represented the state in the U.S. Senate since 1987. Forty-five percent view him very unfavorably.
Angle, a teacher and former legislator, is viewed very favorably by 20 percent and very unfavorably by 23 percent.
Both candidates are well-known in the state, but 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.
The survey of 500 Likely Voters in Nevada was conducted on June 9, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.
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