Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is trailing two potential Republican challengers in 2010, according to a new Mason-Dixon poll published Friday.

If the election were held today, the top Senate Democrat would lose to either real estate businessman Danny Tarkanian (R) or former state GOP chairwoman Sue Lowden, a poll conducted for the Las Vegas Review-Journal found.

51 percent of Nevadans said they prefer Lowden over Reid, with 8 percent undecided, an increase in the margin between the two potential candidates since late August, when Lowden bested Reid 45-40 in a Mason-Dixon poll.

Tarkanian, meanwhile, leads Reid 48-42 with 10 percent undecided, a decrease in the former UNLV basketball player's 11-point margin over Reid in August.


Just as troubling for the majority leader's campaign may be his favorability numbers: 49 percent said they have an unfavorable opinion of Reid, compared to 38 percent who have a favorable opinion. No Nevadans said they were unfamiliar with the senator, while 13 percent were neutral.

Republicans have made a point of targeting Reid, though Reid's campaign has hardly been dormant in recent months.

The senator is already on air with TV ads touting himself as "America's most powerful senator," while he's already raised and spent millions so far this cycle. Through the end of September, he's raised $7.5 million, spent $2.1 million, and has almost $9 million in cash on hand, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings.

There's still the issue, however, of selecting a primary challenger.

The same poll found Lowden and Tarkanian neck-and-neck for the Republican nomination. 25 percent of Nevada Republicans prefer Lowden, compared to 24 percent for Tarkanian. Nevada Assemblywoman Sharron Angle (R) gets 13 percent of the primary vote, while 33 percent of state GOP voters are undecided.

The Mason-Dixon poll, released Friday, has a four percent margin of error for the general election matchup, and a six percent margin of error for the Republican primary sample.