Many Nevada Voters Wish Sharron Angle, Harry Reid Weren't Their Candidates

Sharron Angle, Republican senatorial candidate of Nevada, and Harry Reid, as US Senator of Nevada and Senate Majority leader AP / CBS

Here's a striking statistic out of the Nevada Senate race: 68 percent of the state's voters said in a new poll that they would have preferred if the state's Republicans had nominated someone other than Tea Party-backed nominee Sharron Angle, according to a new Las Vegas Review-Journal/8NewsNow poll.

Even more shockingly: That includes two in three people who say they are voting for Angle.

The figures aren't quite as bad for Reid, though they reflect the fact that the Senate Majority Leader is not exactly beloved in his home state: 49 percent of voters overall say they wish the Democratic Party had nominated someone else. Less than one in five Reid voters say that, however, which suggests that while Angle voters are supporting their candidate grudgingly, Reid voters are largely happy with theirs. (Worth noting, however: Reid's unfavorable rating overall stands at 52 percent.)

The poll found a tight race overall, with the two candidates essentially running neck-and-neck.

Sharron Angle and Harry Reid
AP / CBS

Before Angle's nomination, Republicans were salivating over the likelihood that Reid would fall in the midterm elections in what was expected to be a demoralizing, high-profile defeat for Democrats. But Angle's controversial positions on a variety of issues gave the majority leader an opening to portray her as too extreme for Nevada voters. Her nomination, coupled with Reid's relative unpopularity, appears to have forced many in the state to have to choose between a pair of candidates about whom they have little enthusiasm.

Just as Reid has done to Angle throughout the campaign, Angle and her allies have tried to drive up Reid's negatives in a pair of ads this week. The first, as CBS News' Rob Hendin reported in his Hot Ads of the Week column, tied Reid to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Obama in what is portrayed as "the most tragic love story of our time."

And yesterday came the ad above from the socially conservative Family Research Council, which criticizes "Harry Reid and homosexual activists" for "attempting to advance their political agenda by overturning 'don't ask, don't tell.'"

"Our military is about protection, not politics," an announcer says in the spot.

Both Reid and the president have vowed to end the policykeeping gay men and women from serving openly in the military. A CBS News poll out yesterday found 75 percent of Americans favor allowing homosexuals to serve openly.

Joe Sudbay at the gay-rights blog AMERICAblog speculates that the ad is actually less about helping Angle than "trying to make Reid delay consideration of the Defense Authorization bill, which currently includes the DADT repeal legislation."

In other Angle news, the candidate yesterday twice declined to disavow the claim that there are "domestic enemies" serving in Congress, the Washington Post reports, prompting the Democratic National Committee to call on her to say exactly who those enemies might be.

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