Ad Watch: Harry Reid on Jobs

Powerful stuff:

These ads are compelling not only on in their message -- that Harry Reid has delivered thousands of new green jobs to Nevada in the way that only a leader in Congress can -- but also in their delivery. Notice the silence in the ad, the lack of the standard background music of virtually all other political ads. These spots are different, which will help them stand out. The imagery is also striking. In the first ad, in particular, the narrative arc of the man going to work at a new job in the morning fits perfectly with the broader message of helping Nevadans get back to work. Great spots.

The Comeback of Harry Reid

Following the decision by Republican Sue Lowden to make her campaign about bartering chickens for healthcare, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided he, too, should make his campaign about healthcare -- though reform for the 21st century rather than reform for the 19th century. Drawing a clear contrast, Reid went on the air touting his support for the healthcare reform legislation passed this year and signed into law by President Obama.

Lo and behold, the strategy has paid major dividends for Reid, as evidenced by the latest Research 2000 polling on the race (with results from April and January listed):

Harry Reid (D) 42 (41, 42)
Sue Lowden (R): 38 (45, 51)

Not only has Reid taken the lead away from Lowden, he has also jumped into the lead against the other Republican candidates in the race, Sharron Angle and Danny Tarkanian. So as it turns out -- and this isn't too great of a surprise -- it appears the Beltway prognosticators were exceedingly hasty in proclaiming the demise of Harry Reid.

Harry Reid Leapfrogs Sue Lowden in Nevada

The last several weeks in the Nevada Senate race have seen leading Republican candidate Sue Lowden badly stumble on the issue of healthcare, speaking out in favor of a bartering system in which patients pay their doctors with chickens, and incumbent Democrat Harry Reid speak out forcefully in favor of reform. Lo and behold, Reid is now surging into the lead:

Harry Reid 42% (D)
Sue Lowden 35% (R)
Scott Ashjian 3% (T)
Tim Fasano 5% (IAP)
None of these 8%
Undecided 8%

These numbers do come from a Democratic pollster, and as such should be taken with a grain of salt. What is more, Reid does not lead the other Republican polled in the race, Danny Tarkanian, with both candidates pulling in 37 percent of the vote.

That said, other recent polling on the race has also shown Lowden tanking in the polls, which cannot be bad news for Reid as he seeks reelection this fall. Perhaps making healthcare reform a central piece of this campaign isn't the worst idea after all.

Here and there

Amazing that Mike Oliverio defeated Alan Mollohan from "the right" in the Democratic primary. "The right" being in opposition to the HCR that Mollohan voted for. But this is a common mistake that CW writers like Chris Cillizza make. Maybe not a mistake but just a simplistic DC mindset for expaining things only from a "who wins" partisan perspective based on which party holds the Presidency.

It's widely admitted in Democratic circles that HCR was a boon for the corporate healthcare system, that it does very little in the short-term for many, and in the long run will place a unpopular mandate tax and need to be radically reformed to make it anywhere near a plausible solution. In fact, many of the most vocal supporters will quietly tell you they know its a failure but the "foot in the door" means a way of fixing it later. In the mean time though, politicians opposing HCR as it was passed is much more of a populist anti-corporate stance than it is a stance of the rightwingers-- they for the most part have no problem with rampant corporate power and profits.

The UK is so much more pragmatic than the US when it comes to political rule. I believe it comes from having such a short election cycle, that opinions are not hardened in campaigning opposition over months but mere weeks, instead. Here the hyperbole of campaigning has extended into governing as well. There's a chance that the new-formed coalition between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives might just work. Of course, it could just as likely flame out with a sour economic recovery and ideological differences. The notion that the Lib Dems might "continue the process of detoxification" for the Conservative Party is interesting, and a possibility, with the emergence of the UKIP getting quite a few votes this past GE.

538, which didn't do very well in predicting the outcome (who did?) has a retropective post up. Nate chalks it up to a lack of data, but it was well known that up to 40% of Lib Dem voters were being polled as saying up to the last day that they could change their mind. Well, they did! 

Further Silver: "..for the Liberal Democrats, it was quite erratic. Although they received about the same share of the vote overall, they did much better in some constituencies and much worse in others..." I mentioned this before, and it goes along with my take away that the local LD candidate in many places was just not as strong a candidate as the more adept candidate put up by either Conservatives or Labour.  The Lib Dems are to be congratulated for running a national campaign, but a better focus on getting stronger candidates across the board would have yielded a outcome with more seats won.

Harry Reid Goes On-Air on Healthcare Reform

Take a gander:

You can see the whole bevy of ads here through YouTube. From my vantage, they do a good job of explaining the tangible benefits of healthcare reform legislation in a compelling way, one that actually speaks to specifics and individuals. And considering that a whopping 81 percent of Nevadans do not believe that the healthcare plan put forward by Reid's top GOP challenger Sue Lowden (bartering for care) is a "realistic way to reduce medical costs," it's probably not a bad idea for Reid to hammer away on the issue.


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