Reid didn’t get 90% among Hispanics

November 4, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

I was one of several reporters to print — in error — a report that Sharron Angle got just 8 percent of the Hispanic votes.

Mark Krikorian corrects me:

The implication is that these numbers come from a "Latino Decisions" exit poll — an implication the authors of the poll are not in a hurry to dispel. Ben Smith at Politico, as just one example, was taken in: "Reid got an amazing 90 percent of the state’s 12 percent Hispanic voters, according to exit polls; Sharron Angle got just 8 percent."

Except that the Latino Decisions poll wasn’t an exit poll — rather, it was an "election eve" poll, conducted before Election Day, just like all the other polling that has been going on for months. The actual exit poll, over at CNN, shows Angle getting a normal Republican share of the Hispanic vote, 30 percent. 

The 38-percentage-point Reid margin among Hispanics in the exit poll is still a symptom of a big Republican problem out West, but it’s not out of line with their problems in other races, and it’s actually better than John McCain did among Hispanics in Nevada in 2008.

UPDATE: Latino Decisions explains why they think they’re right.

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Ben Smith’s Blog

Harry Reid had no business winning

November 4, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

A Jonathan Martin reader points to a remarkable November 1 Nevada PPP Poll result that didn’t get the attention it deserved:

If the candidates for US Senate this fall had been Democrat Harry Reid and Republican Danny Tarkanian, who would you have voted for?

Harry Reid………………………………………………. 39%
Danny Tarkanian………………………………………54%
Undecided………………………………………………. 7%

That poll had Angle up one. 

Angle had, of course, been subjected to a barrage of attacks from Reid that would have been aimed instead at Tarkanian, dragging him down a bit. But Reid’s campaign also effectively chose Angle in the primary, an aggressive piece of politics that clearly paid off.

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Ben Smith’s Blog

Reid is ‘begging’ for Republican input; criticizes GOP and the media

November 3, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid insisted Wednesday he’s committed to building consensus with Senate Republicans, telling reporters he is “begging for Republican input.”

But the man who had to come from behind to retain his Senate seat also criticized his GOP counterparts for obstructing much of the legislative agenda Democrats laid out in the last two years.

Reid acknowledged the Republican takeover of the House and gains in the Senate mean there’s a new political reality on Capitol Hill and said that collaboration is in order. But, he said, Republicans could have already been cooperating.

“I think that every piece of legislation that we passed had to jump through all the procedural hoops to do. Each one of those we could have improved the legislation with some Republican input, but they simply weren’t willing to work with us. That is where they came up with the designation of the party of no,” he told reporters at a news conference.

“I have always felt that my job is to build consensus, to work out legislation,” he said. “It’s not a bad word to suggest that legislation is the art of compromise. That is what it is. So I am going to do everything I can to do that.”

Asked three times what he would do differently, including moving the party’s agenda to the right to achieve some compromise, Reid said he welcomes GOP ideas but maintained that to date Republicans haven’t been willing to come to the table.

“I don’t think this is a question of right or left. It’s a question of doing the best thing for the American people.” He said he would welcome “serious Republican ideas” but again criticized them for not working to build bipartisan bills on Wall Street reform, environmental and national service legislation.

Reid used a question about his victory strategy as an opening to unleash an attack on the media.

“We’ve got to do something about these misleading polls that are all over the country. They are so unfair, and you just gobble them up no matter where they come from. You just run with them like they are the finest pastry in the world. They’re false and misleading, and people pay for those polls so you will use them,” he said.

A series of polls commissioned by media outlets in the last weeks showed his race against Tea Party-backed Republican Sharron Angle a dead heat or gave Angle a small advantage.

“I told people for weeks I was comfortable with where I was with the polls. But every poll showed me losing, and I was comfortable,” he said.

So how did Reid, with high negatives in the state with the largest unemployment, manage to pull out a five point decisive victory? In his press conference he touted the Hispanic turnout, which was about 17 percent – higher than anticipated. It appears the Angle campaign alienated some Latino voters by running ads that cast Hispanic looking people as lawbreakers and angered others with a gaffe in which the candidate said some students at a Hispanic high school “look Asian.”

Another key to the Reid’s victory was the Democrats’ statewide get-out-the-vote operation. He went into Election Day with a healthy lead in the early vote that proved valuable when turnout on Election Day was lighter in the state than anticipated. Reid did well in the Democratic stronghold of Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, and he also beat Angle in her home area of Washoe County in the northern part of the state.

The day after election was not a day of rest for the majority leader. He faces the perils of pursuing the Democrats’ agenda with a bare majority. With only a few hours of sleep, he did the morning talk show circuit at 4 a.m. Then he did a conference call with fellow Senate Democrats, and followed that with the news conference and a telephone briefing for reporters with other members of the Senate Democratic leadership.

CNN Political Ticker

Reid On DADT: ‘I Think It’s Something We Could Work Out’ In Lame Duck

November 3, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said today that it is his “goal” to pass the Defense Authorization bill — and with it, repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — in the Senate’s lame-duck session, but warned that it’ll be a tough squeeze.

According to The Hill, Reid said today that being able to pass the massive, traditionally must-pass funding bill will depend on Republican cooperation and support.

“The problem we have with the defense authorization bill is that it takes a while to get done,” he said. “If we can get some agreement from the Republicans that we can move the bill without a lot of extraneous amendments, I think it’s something we could work out. That would be my goal.”

Republicans, including the pro-repeal Log Cabin Republicans, have argued that the bill is so large and complex that they need to be able to offer amendments. Part of the reason a cloture motion to begin debate on the bill in September failed, they say, is because Reid would not allow any amendments.

Reid also said Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), chair of the Armed Services Committee, is “anxious” to pass the bill.

The Senate reconvenes Nov. 15. President Obama today also reiterated his commitment to get DADT repealed in the lame-duck session, noting that it may be easier to get Republican support after the Pentagon completes its policy review in early December.

Complicating things is the fact that the Senate has a lot of other work to squeeze into the lame-duck session, including whether to extend the Bush-era tax cuts. And in the new Congress beginning next year, Democrats will have fewer votes to count on to pass any legislation.


Reid emphasizes bipartisan cooperation

November 3, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

(CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D- Nevada), who edged out Tea Party-backed Republican Sharron Angle to seal clinch his bid for reelection, says he is willing to work with Republican leaders in both houses and would consider ‘tweaking’ the health care bill if necessary.

In an interview with CNN’s John Roberts on American Morning, Reid called for an end to campaign rhetoric and emphasized a need for bipartisan cooperation to create policies that will stabilize the economy.

“I think its time we need to set aside our speeches and start rolling up our sleeves,” Reid said. “Democrats have to work with Republicans and Republicans have to work with Democrats. It’s not a one-sided deal. ”

Reid said he has good relationships with Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) and House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, key players now that the Republicans have won back control of the House of Representatives.

Boehner is expected to become House Speaker when Republicans take control of the House in November.

However, Reid did take a swipe at the Republicans for contributing to the bitter partisan environment in Washington.

“We know that the Republicans have, this last Congress picked up the name the ‘party of no,’” Reid said.

He also sniped at the refusal by Republicans help pass the Obama administration’s health care overhaul – legislation many Republicans advocated repealing in the run-up to the midterm elections.

“I wish the Republicans had worked with us when we did the health care bill,” Reid said.

On health care, Reid said he would be willing to “tweak” some parts but declined to start from scratch.

“I’m not going to in any way denigrate the great work we did as a country,” Reid said.

CNN Political Ticker

Majority Leader Harry Reid Re-Elected in Nevada

November 3, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Big win for the Dems, but is it enough save face?


Big Government

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 Wins

November 3, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

I’m ready to call the race for Reid and it seems the networks agree (I was literally typing this as they started to call).

I’m pleased to see Angle lose but I wish Reid could have lost too somehow.

But regardless this is a good outcome.

Though I suspect my reaction will confuse some of the more partisan around here who don’t see how it is possible to support people on both sides or think someone on your side is bad or someone on the other side is good (for example I am pleased to see Bennett leading in Colorado) but there ya go.

The Moderate Voice

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

Frank Luntz Predicts Harry Reid Will Win in Nevada

November 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

From Politico:

GOP polling guru Frank Luntz is predicting Republicans will win seven Senate seats and 50 House spots, based on exit polls he had seen. On a conference call with associates from K Street, Luntz also said he thinks Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will win reelection.

The Moderate Voice

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