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Nevada Voters Unenthusiastic About Their Options After Reid-Angle Debate

Sharron Angle, left, and Harry Reid talk as moderator Mitch Fox looks on following their televised Nevada Senate debate, Oct. 14, 2010, in Las Vegas. AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

LAS VEGAS -- The fault lines in the tight and nasty Senate race in Nevada between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle seem to run deep.

In their debate Thursday night they did not agree on most anything, including health care reform, social security funding, and whether or not it is a senator's job to create jobs (Reid said "yes," while Angle said it would be her job to create policies that let the private sector create jobs).

Outside the debate hall, however, it was a slightly different story. Their supporters, while loud, did not always seem to be true believers. Many say they are voting for Reid not because they agree with his politics, but because they say they are afraid of Angle's views.

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Her supporters, meanwhile, could easily rattle off the catchy phrases of the campaign (cut government, cut spending, cut taxes) -- but when pushed on which government programs they are willing to live without, most could not say. I asked one senior citizen who said she "supports everything about Sharron Angle" if she agreed with Angle's position on privatizing social security and Medicare, and she said, "well not that but I agree with her on the other stuff." One young woman said Angle is "for the people," but didn't quite know what that meant when asked to explain.

In a recent poll, a majority of Nevadans say they don't like either candidate. So come November 2, you may have a lot of people here in the desert casting their ballots with one hand and holding their noses with the other.

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Ben Tracy
Ben Tracy
Ben Tracy is CBS News' correspondent based in Los Angeles. You can read more of his posts in Hotsheet here.
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