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The Lion in Winter?

Sherman Fredrick in the Las Vegas Review Journal: [1]


The political headline of last week, “Reid’s popularity falls among Nevadans,” wasn’t all that surprising. Nevada [2]‘s never been particularly wild about Harry Reid [3]. But he’s always managed to cobble enough of a constituency to ward off opponents, even if by the narrowest of margins.

The surprise was in the degree of voter disenchantment. The poll commissioned by the Las Vegas Review-Journal [4] showed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s unfavorable rating had moved past the 50 percent mark — 51 percent, to be precise. His favorable rating was 32 percent, 2 points lower than embattled, lame duck President George W. Bush [5].

As bad as the ratings were, you could see it coming.

In fact, I did. In a column published May 21, 2006, I wrote that if Sen. Reid continued to kowtow the liberal wing of his party, “Nevada voters will march to the polls and replace (him), thus ending one of the longer, more powerful political runs in state history.”

(An aside… once again the voice of David Obey [6] echoes loudly)

Let me spell out Harry’s problem. No one can win a statewide race in Nevada on a platform that appears anti-military, anti-family, anti-marriage, anti-religion, anti-free speech, pro-illegal immigration, pro-abortion, and pro-taxation. While Harry isn’t all of that personally, he clearly projects elements of them all when he’s doing the bidding of his party on the national stage.

The good news for Reid is there’s about three years before he’s up for re-election. That’s still a lot of time for this lion in the winter. reid2.jpg [7]Nevertheless, you’d have to be the dumbest of all asses to close your eyes and pretend this is a sampling or methodology error. I promise you that’s not how Reid’s inner circle views it. They take it seriously because they know nobody carries a high unfavorable number into an election and reasonably expects to survive.

So I look for Harry to tone down the liberal rhetoric, shut up about Limbaugh, and do all he can locally to turn these negative numbers around. The Las Vegas Sun will do its part by providing glowing coverage of his exploits. Then, in about 12 to 18 months, he’ll perform an internal re-election reality check.

If his numbers are as bad then as they are today, he’ll retire. Maybe take a cushy job with President Hillary Clinton’s administration.

Well, I’ll add a prediction to that one; if it comes to that, you can pretty much figure that the Democrats are a dead letter in Nevada for at least a couple of decades.

But you know, there is an interesting wrinkle to all of this, in the Chris Dodd debacles.  That little run in with Chris Dodd cost him in Liberal circles, too.  Whereas before that happening, the Democrats would have been quite willing to pour a large amounts of cash into any reelection campaign Mr. Reid might care to mount.  with the Dodd thing… and a number of other internal squabbles happening, of late, I’m not so sure.

The best situation that Mr. Reid can hope for, is to be balanced on the head of the pin.  He can’t possibly go too far to the right to satisfy the voters at home and retain Democratic party leadership, and Democratic party funding for his campaigns.  On the other hand, he can’t go too far to the left to satisfy the Democratic party, without alienating his voters at home.  In the end, I think this is going to be far too complex a balancing act for Peter O’Toole…. err….Harry Reid….  to handle.

BBCT: Memeorandum  [8]

Also blogging:¬† Blue Crab Boulevard [9], Betsy’s Page [10]