Reid Stuns Angle, Wins Another Term

November 3, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) scored a surprisingly decisive victory over Republican Sharron Angle, despite holding low approval ratings and representing a state with the highest unemployment rate in the country.

Reid’s victory is one of the rare Democratic bright spots of the night. The Angle campaign this morning put out a release this morning all but anticipating the defeat of the Democrats’ Senate leader.

All the networks and the AP called the race only about two hours after polls closed in Nevada, with Reid jumping to a sizable lead in suburban Clark County (Las Vegas). With 41 percent of precincts reporting, Reid leads Angle 51 to 44 percent.

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chair Robert Menendez (N.J.) said Reid persevered despite the barrage of negative attacks he faced from Republicans.

“Despite being the number one target for National Republicans this election cycle, Leader Reid showed why, as a former boxer, he can never be counted out,” Menendez said. “Leader Reid’s victory tonight is not only a testament to his decades of hard work on behalf of the people of Nevada, but it’s also a reflection of the strong leadership he has shown tackling the major issues facing our country today.”

Angle, a Tea Party favorite, struggled on the campaign trail, making frequent gaffes. Her unstinting conservative voting record in the state legislature also proved to be potent fodder for Reid to use against her.

The big question to come is whether Reid will stay on as Senate Majority Leader now that Democrats have maintained control of the Senate despite sustaining losses. Reid’s disapproval rating back home was well above 50 percent, and was directly tied to many of the president’s policies.

Early indications are that he’d have the support of his Democratic colleagues if he chose to remain as leader.

Politico was wrong, Huffington Post was wrong, hell, all the pundits were wrong. Harry Reid isn’t just Dracula, he isn’t just Lazarus, he’s our Leader and our whole caucus is thrilled that he’s unbreakable and unbeatable,” Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) said, in a statement.

Hotline On Call

Reid Leads Angle

November 3, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Via the Las Vegas SunHarry Reid hanging on to lead over Sharron Angle

When the numbers flashed up on the television screen that Reid was leading with 52 percent of the vote to Sharron Angle’s 43, the convention center ballroom exploded into applause — which turned into yelps and cheers as party attendees realized that 52 percent of precincts were reporting — a sharp jump in significance from the numbers that flashed up only 10 minutes earlier, showing a narrower, 8 percent lead with just 1 percent of the precincts reporting.

I find that to be a surprising gap, given the polling.  Of course, by the same token, there are still a lot of votes yet to count.

CNN reports:   Reid 51%, Angle 44% with 60% counted.   None of these candidates is winning only 2%.

I am too old and have to get up too early tomorrow morning to hang on to see how this plays out, so we shall see in the morning if the tend holds.

At a minimum, the Senate appears to have remained in Democratic hands, although the margin is likely to be a fairly narrow one.  More tomorrow, no doubt.

Outside the Beltway

Angle Files Voter Intimidation Complaint With DOJ Over Reid E-Mails

November 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

In the final hours of Election Day, a lawyer for GOP Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle filed a complaint with the Justice Department alleging voter intimidation took place on behalf of the campaign of her opponent Sen. Harry Reid (D), Politico reports.

The complaint relates to an e-mail exchange between an unnamed Reid campaign staffer and the casino chain Harrah’s, which was reported in a story published by the National Review. The National Review reported that the e-mails showed that “Executives at the casino giant Harrah’s pushed company employees to vote early in an all-out effort to help the Harry Reid campaign.”

Angle lawyer Cleta Mitchell — co-chair of the Republican National Lawyers Association -said the e-mails showed “union intimidation tactics.” Reid’s campaign countered that the e-mails don’t show anything against the law and mentioned that the conservative blogger who wrote the story told Fox News that she didn’t think “anything either illegal or unethical was done here.”

“This ‘report’ by a right-wing blogger who’s literally been embedded within the Angle campaign has no credibility on its face,” Reid campaign spokesman Kelly Steele told Politico. “That being said, given Sen. Reid’s work to strengthen the state’s top industry, it should come as no surprise that casino employees support his reelection.”

The chain of e-mails, which can be read here, show that company vice president of public policy and communications Marybel Batjer wrote that another official received a message from the Reid campaign.

“She asked me to reach out to you to PLEASE do whatever we need to do to get the supervisors to know that there is NOTHING more important then (sic) to get employees out to vote,” Batjer wrote to a number of Harrah’s employees. “Waking up to a defeat of Harry Reid Nov 3rd will be devastating for our industry’s future. I know everyone is working hard, but somehow the effort is not getting through the ranks.”

A Justice Department spokeswoman told TPMMuckraker that DOJ was reviewing the letter but declined further comment.

This isn’t the first time that Angle has accused Reid of tinkering with the election, but the Nevada Secretary of State said one of her previous charges had no merit. Angle’s former PAC actually funded a group that later charged that Reid was benefiting from voter fraud.


Who’s winning in Nevada? The Reid v. Angle math

November 1, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

(CNN) - Wondering what to watch for in the early Nevada returns? Well the campaigns have already begun spinning the numbers. Here are the Democrats and Republicans takes on where things stand.

First the facts: According to Nevada elections officials, 65 percent of everyone who will vote in this election has already done so, either by early voting or mail-in ballot. More Democrats voted early than Republicans, but keep in mind, there are more registered Democrats in the state.

That’s where the agreement ends.

Here’s what supporters of Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle will tell you.

Republicans say about 10,000 more Democrats voted early than Republicans - but it’s not enough to deliver Reid a victory. Why? Because 44 percent of all registered voters are Democrats, but they cast only 43.5 percent of all early votes. So those pulling for Angle say Democrats “under performed” by .5 percent (The math: 44-43.5 = 0.5%). In contrast, 41 percent of all early voters were Republicans, and Republicans make up 35 percent of all registered voters. Therefore, the GOP says, Nevada Republicans “over performed” by 6.0 percent (The math: 41-35 = 6%). They say this shows a significant enthusiasm gap favoring Republicans, and it will only get bigger on Tuesday. That’s because historically, Nevada Republicans are more likely to turn out on Election Day, and they say this year certainly will be no exception.

It’s no surprise the Democrats crunch the numbers very differently and after early voting they see no enthusiasm gap.

This is how the Democrats do the math: They found 38 percent of all Republicans eligible to vote have already cast a ballot. Compare that to Democrats’ turnout: 34.6 percent of all eligible Democrats already voted. The difference between the two numbers - which they call the “turnout advantage” - is just under 3.5 percent. Democrats say if this were a Republican wave election that Republican turnout advantage would be bigger. They point out that in 2006 - the last midterm election - Republicans had a 6 percent turnout advantage and that year Republicans did not do well on Election Day.

The Democrats also point out that Republicans normally get an Election Day bump from rural voters. But this year rural Nevadans participated in early voting at a much higher than usual rate. Democrats are betting voting patterns won’t be that different on Tuesday than they were in the overall early balloting, meaning no Republican surge at the polling places.

The Democrats conclusion: they’re in good shape to win.

So what should you believe? Nevada’s veteran political reporter Jon Ralston agrees the early vote does not reflect a huge Republican surge. In a blog post over the weekend he concluded, “Harry Reid has a chance to win if that overall edge stays below the historical 6 percent edge the GOP has in midterms.” Ralston is predicting a Reid victory writing, “all the data I have seen tell me that unless Reid loses independents by 15 points or so, he will hold on.”

But there’s the rub. What these numbers don’t reflect is the independent vote. Republicans think Angle will win 6 out of 10 independents, enough to give her a victory. Democrats say their internal polling shows Reid is doing just fine among independents, and that he will hold his advantage. But, don’t forget in Nevada there are other candidates on the ballot - and the final complicating factor: voters have the option of picking “None of the Above.”

Bottom line it’s going to be a late night on Tuesday.

CNN Political Ticker

Late Voters May Be Key to Angle Victory

November 1, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The final Public Policy Polling survey in Nevada shows Sharron Angle (R) edging Sen. Harry Reid (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 47% to 46%.

The survey indicates that Reid takes a 50% to 46% lead with early voters into election day but that those still planning to vote tomorrow are intending to support Angle by a 48% to 40% margin.

Meanwhile, Jon Ralston predicts that Reid will win, 47% to 45%.

“Harry Reid is the most resilient figure in Nevada political history. He should not even be here. He lost a U.S. Senate race in 1974, embarrassed himself in a mayoral race in 1975 and should have lost his re-election bid in 1998. But he found a way to win 12 years ago, and he will again Tuesday… Reid’s handlers have run one of the most spectacular
campaigns in history at all levels.”
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

Line of the Day, Angle Edition

October 30, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

“I’ll answer those questions when I’m the Senator”-Sharron Angle, Republican candidate (and frontrunner) for the Senate in Nevada.

The questions?

We’ve tried to go to her public events and ask, but she won’t answer. We’ve tried to call and email her campaign, but they won’t answer. Now, we’re finding her at the airport, still trying to get answers.

"I think when it comes to major policy issues, the people of Nevada are most concerned about our jobs, our homes and our economy," she said.

"If you want to be one of 100 U.S. Senators that are deciding on war powers and on ratifying treaties, which is what a Senator has to do, you have to answer these questions," said Reporter Nathan Baca.

I find it utterly amazing and wholly unacceptable for a candidate for public office, let alone the Senate, to take such a position.  And, as Doug Mataconis notes, she doesn’t even want reporters from some stations at her election night event because they dared ask her questions.

And no, this is not an endorsement of Harry Reid, so playing that card in the comments simply elides the issue at hand.

Outside the Beltway

Angle Banning Press From Election Night Coverage

October 30, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Apparently, Sharron Angle’s preference to not ever answer any hard questions will continue right up to the moment the Nevada Senate election is decided:

Sharron Angle has banned two Las Vegas television stations from attending her election night party as retribution for reporters who tracked her down Friday and asked her questions without prior campaign approval.

Reporters from local NBC and CBS affiliates surprised Angle at McCarran International Airport, asking her questions about unemployment and national security.

The Republican has actively avoided the media in the closing days of her tight campaign with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Friday’s incident — and her campaign’s reaction to it — was the most recent example of her icy relationship with the local press.

“If you want to be one of 100 U.S. senators that are deciding on war powers and on ratifying treaties, which is what a senator has to do, you have to answer these questions,” Nathan Baca, reporter for CBS affiliate KLAS, told Angle during the airport encounter.

“Well, certainly. And I’ll answer those questions when I’m the senator,” Angle said.

Actually, I think it’s pretty clear that a Senator Angle wouldn’t be any more open to the press than candidate Angle has been. Whether that is acceptable or not is up to the voters of Nevada.

Outside the Beltway

Angle campaign bars local station from election night event

October 29, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) – The campaign of Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle has barred a local television station Friday from the state Republican Party’s election night event after it and another station staked her out at the airport.

During the stakeout reporters from the two stations pressed Angle to answer questions.

The Angle campaign said it has had problems with the reporting of one of the stations, KLAS, and added the station did not report accurately the interchange with its reporter Friday.

“They behave like paparazzi,” Angle campaign deputy communications director Ciara Matthews said of the two stations.

“We expect a certain level of journalistic integrity,” Matthews told CNN.

Local media said Angle has not made herself available for interviews, and many of her speeches have been closed to the press.

After its report of Friday’s encounter aired, the campaign decided to bar KLAS from the event. Matthews alleged the stations were doing the work of Angle’s opponent, Sen. Harry Reid.

“There is not room at the victory party for Harry Reid’s lapdogs,” Matthews said. “The campaign staff reserves the right to manage the campaign in whatever way we see fit.”

In a statement to CNN, KLAS news director Ron Coming said it was trying to do its job.

“The reason we arrived at the airport was an attempt to interview Sharron Angle after repeated requests for interviews over the last several weeks,” he said.

“I cannot imagine that Sharron Angle or the Nevada Republican Party would deny the citizens of Nevada complete election coverage of their party on Tuesday night,” he added.

Coming said he is talking to state GOP officials about getting access.

The campaign said she has made about 150 media appearances since winning the primary nomination, including a number of speeches open to coverage, although a majority were interviews.

While Reid has at times avoided answering questions during the campaign, his staff has publicized the locations of most of its events to the media, and they have been open to coverage. Reid took reporters questions at an event on Thursday.

During the airport stakeout Friday, Angle said the people of Nevada are most concerned about jobs and the economy. But when the KLAS reporter told her, “If you want to be 1 of 100 U.S. Senators that are going to be deciding on war powers and ratifying treaties - which is what a senator has to do - you have to answer these questions.”

Angle responded, “Well certainly, and I’ll answer these questions when I’m the Senator.”

The reporter pressed why she wouldn’t answer now.

Her response was “because the campaign and this, the issues that Nevada are facing right now is putting Nevada back to work. We need our jobs, and our economy - those things need to be answered for us first.”

Matthews said the campaign has not made a decision about whether to allow entry to the event to the other station, KSNV, involved in the stakeout because it wanted to review how it reported the incident. But, she said she believed KSNV has been more accurate in its coverage.

At a Friday night get out the vote event with Angle and Sen. John McCain, all media were allowed to cover the event

- CNN Assignment Editor Janet DiGiacomo contributed to this story

CNN Political Ticker

Two straight polls: Angle 49, Reid 45 in Nevada

October 29, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

(CNN) - With four days to go until the midterm elections, a second straight poll in the most high profile Senate battle in the country indicates Republican challenger Sharron Angle holds a four point advantage over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

But Angle’s four point margin in a new Mason-Dixon survey for the Las Vegas Review-Journal/8 News Now is within the poll’s sampling error, making it a neck and neck race.

According to poll, 45 percent of likely voters in Nevada are backing Angle, who enjoys strong support from many in the Tea Party movement, with 45 percent backing Reid, the top Democrat in the Senate, who’s bidding for a fifth term in the chamber.

Three percent of people questioned in the survey say they are undecided, with one percent saying they are backing other candidates on the ballot and two percent saying they will vote for none of the candidates, which is a ballot option in Nevada.

The Mason-Dixon poll’s Friday release comes two days after a CNN/Time/Opinion Research survey indicated that Angle held the same 49 to 45 percent advantage over Reid. Two percent questioned in the CNN/Time poll supported Scott Ashjian, who is running as a Tea Party candidate, but who is shunned by many in the grassroots conservative movement, and three percent saying they are voting for none of the candidates listed. Angle’s margin in the CNN poll is within that survey’s sampling error.

Other surveys released in the past two weeks also indicate a small single digit margin for Angle.

According to the Mason-Dixon survey, Angle leads 85 to 8 percent among Republicans and 55 to 38 percent among independent voters, with Reid ahead 84 to 11 percent among Democrats.

“Reid just can’t get much above 45 percent, and she’s carrying the independents,” Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker tells the Review-Journal. “I haven’t seen a poll showing him up since the debate. That might have been when things started to lock in.”

Reid and Angle faced off October 14 in their only debate.

According to the CNN/Time poll, Reid leads 96 to 3 percent among Democrats, with Angle leading 82 to 10 percent among Republicans and 53 to 38 percent among independent voters.

“Reid is doing best in Clark County, home not just to Las Vegas but to his hometown of Searchlight,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “He manages a virtual tie with Angle in her home territory in Washoe County, where Reno is located. But Reid is getting clobbered in the rest of the state, losing the rural areas of Nevada by more than three-to-one.”

In a sign that enthusiasm for voting appears to be on the Republican side, when expanded from those likely to vote to the larger sample of all registered voters, Reid holds a 43 to 39 percent advantage over Angle, with five percent backing Ashjian and 12 percent saying they’ll vote for none of the candidates.

President Barack Obama teamed up with Reid in Nevada last week. According to the poll, 39 percent of likely voters in Nevada approve of the job Obama’s doing as president, with 59 percent saying they disapprove. Among all adults in the state, 44 percent approve of the job Obama’s doing, with 49 percent disapproving of how he’s handling his duties.

The Mason-Dixon poll indicates that 39 percent have a favorable opinion of Reid, with 56 percent saying they hold an unfavorable opinion. Likely voters are split on Angle, with 43 percent saying they have a favorable opinion of the former state lawmaker, with 45 percent saying they see her in an unfavorable light.

The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

The Mason-Dixon poll was conducted October 25-27, with 625 likely voters in Nevada questioned by telephone. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

The CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted October 20-26, with 1,504 Nevada adults, including 1,286 registered voters and 773 likely voters questioned by telephone. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for likely voters.

CNN Political Ticker

New poll has Angle up 4 over Reid

October 29, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 


The CNN/Time Magazine poll turned out to be too strange for any credibility, but Mason-Dixon has been polling this race for months, and they have begun to see some daylight for Sharron Angle as well.  Harry Reid maintains only a slight lead in Clark County, 49/45, which coincidentally is the same percentage by which Angle [...]

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