If I lived in Nevada and were polled today on the state’s marquee U.S. Senate race, I would probably indicate that I was undecided, leaning toward voting for “None of the These Candidates,” an option the Silver State allows. Yet, much as I dislike Sharron Angle’s stand on a variety of gay issues, I realize that she is the only candidate who has a serious chance of removing Harry Reid from the United States Senate.
And this politician has spent his years as Democratic Leader, obstructing the Republican agenda when in the minority and pushing Obama’s big-government agenda when in the majority. No wonder Rasmussen polls this race as a tie, but when they include leaners, Angle edges ahead. People just don’t like Harry. For all the money he’s poured into the race, he can barely muster a narrow lead (in the best polls) while holding only one-third of independent voters.
Indeed, “If Sharron Angle truly is as cuckoo as Harry Reid says she is,” Las Vegas Sun columnist Jon Ralston writes, “and as her own words occasionally indicate, why isn’t the Senate majority leader, arguably the most powerful Nevadan in history, running away from her in the polls?”
But here’s the rub: People hate Reid. I tell my daughter never to use that verb, but it’s the only word for it. It seethes, blinds, sputters.
I am asked all the time for the provenance of such animus. I still believe it is a combination: Anger at the Obama-Reid-Pelosi agenda that folks blame for their economic lot, Reid’s four decades in politics, his general mien and, of course, his intemperate remarks (war is lost, taxes are voluntary, tourists smell).
But it is profoundly irrational, too, much of the time, and thus impossible to change with a “She’s from Crazytown” campaign. And that’s what keeps the Reid folks up at night, knowing no matter how skillful they are — and he has the best campaign team Nevada has seen — the Reid-haters will not listen. They may be able to scare a small percentage to stay home or vote for “none of these candidates” — and that may be enough — but Team Reid can’t be sure, no matter what the next Angle revelation is.
Profoundly irrational, Mr. Ralston? Hardly. By the way, Mr. Ralston, in the early years of this century, did you call Bush-haters irrational?
They don’t like Harry Reid, hate him even, first because of his lock-step devotion to the Democrats’ obstructionist policies (his numbers started to slip soon after his 2004 reelection) and his slavish devotion to the Democrats’ big government policies. And that’s why I think he’ll lose. In the end, Nevadans will realize that their Senator has pushed some of the legislation which they most strongly oppose while standing in the way of the reforms they truly want.
They may think Angle is from Crazytown, but, well, she hasn’t been around Washington for the better part of the three decades nor does she embody the worst of the political class. Nevadans’ll pinch their noses and vote for the outsider, flawed though she may be.