Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidFree speech is a right, not a political weapon Overnight Tech: FCC eyes cybersecurity role | More trouble for spectrum auction | Google seeks 'conservative outreach' director Cures bill clears first Senate hurdle MORE (D-Nev.) has made up major ground against GOP challengers to his reelection, a new poll showed Friday.
The Senate's top Democrat, who has been trailing potential Republican foes for much of the past year, now only trails those candidates by a thin margin.
Forty-two percent of Nevada voters said they would vote for state GOP Chairwoman Sue Lowden in a potential match-up against Reid, while 39 percent would support the majority leader, according to a Mason-Dixon poll released Friday.
By contrast, Lowden led Reid 47-37 in a mid-April Mason-Dixon poll, both surveys having been sponsored by the Las Vegas Journal-Review.
The new poll shows Reid making up ground against — if not overtaking — other potential Republican opponents.
Reid leads former state Assemblywoman Sharron Angle (R), a favorite of Tea Party activists, 42-39 percent. The top Senate Democrat is also in a statistical dead heat with businessman and former UNLV hoops star Danny Tarkanian: Forty-two percent of Nevadans would vote for Tarkanian and 41 percent would vote for Reid in such a match-up.
The poll indicates that Reid has made up ground after flagging badly in polls for the better part of the past year. Things had gotten so bad for Reid that candidates for his majority leader position were already seen to be waiting in the wings for the beginning of the next Congress.
Reid's spent almost the entirety of the long congressional breaks back in Nevada barnstorming and campaigning. He's also been a prolific fundraiser, having banked over $9.4 million in cash on hand through the end of March for his general-election battle.
Nevada Republican voters still have to choose a candidate to run against Reid, though, and electability is a major factor in that election. The new poll showed GOP voters largely split. If the election were held today, 30 percent would support Lowden, 29 percent would support Angle and 23 percent would vote for Tarkanian.
The poll, conducted May 24-26, has a 4 percent margin of error.