Faced with dismal poll numbers and a controversy over race-related comments about Barack Obama, people are starting to ask: Is Harry Reid the next Chris Dodd? A new Las Vegas Journal-Review poll shows the Senate majority leader trailing all three Republicans in the race, losing by as many as 10 points. Reid’s favorability ratings have been low for quite some time.
In one respect, Reid is clearly like Chris Dodd: the voters of his state have made up their minds about him and they don’t like him. They don’t like his Washington insider reputation, which is why his ads playing up his Beltway clout have backfired. They don’t like his increasingly liberal voting record. And they don’t like the Obama agenda he is busily shepherding through the Senate. It is very hard to see how he wins reelection.
But unlike Dodd, he doesn’t seem likely to step aside. In addition to the national party’s reluctance to force the Senate majority leader out of the race and Reid’s own stubbornness, the fact is there is no Richard Blumenthal waiting in the wings should the incumbent retire. Even without Reid’s baggage, other Democratic prospects would be even weaker. And Reid’s departure would probably improve the Republican field by tempting Rep. Dean Heller into the race.
Nevada Democrats are probably left with an unpopular candidate for reelection who is going to be forced to run hard against a less-than-ideal Republican challenger. So in the end, Harry Reid looks less like Chris Dodd than Jon Corzine.