So is it time to call it quits and give into "The Red Tide"? Not really. I know something that you may not...
Public Policy Polling just released its latest Nevada Senate poll. In their official numbers, Harry Reid gets 47% while Sharron Angle gets 45%. OK, so Reid is barely ahead... What's the big deal? It's basically a tie race... Or is it?
In an earlier post on their blog, they admitted that they may be missing something quite big.
Usually the conventional wisdom is that a tie race means the incumbent will lose but in the case of Nevada there are a couple big reasons why the tie might go to Harry Reid.
The first is that the polling in Nevada was the worst of any swing state in 2008 (well actually it turned out Nevada wasn't a swing state but everyone thought it was because the polling showed a close race.) And the polling was all off in the same direction- underestimating Barack Obama's margin of victory. Obama won the state by 12 points: our final poll had him up by only 4, Mason Dixon had him up by only 4, Rasmussen had him up by only 4, and CNN had him up by only 7. Some pollsters did do a better job- Suffolk showed a 10 point lead, Zogby an 11 point one, and AP a 12 point one.
So the precedent is there for pollsters- especially the ones who have been doing most of the polling for this year's race- to underestimate Democratic performance in the state. [...]
The second is that those below the radar in 2008 voters may now be included in pollsters' samples- I can only speak for what we do but we're calling folks who voted in the 2004 general, 2006 general, or 2008 general so we should have a lot of the people we missed last time in our samples this time. Still it strikes me as much more likely that the polls are systematically underestimating Harry Reid than the other way around.
The other reason the tie might go to Reid is that the polling in Nevada is assuming a much larger gap between Democratic and Republican turnout compared to 2008 than we're seeing most places. In our poll tomorrow the sample reports having voted for Barack Obama by only 2 points, compared to his actual 12 point victory in the state. Even with that big dropoff in turnout from Democrats the race is still very close- but if even half of that enthusiasm gap was chopped between now and November Reid would be in a very strong position. And we have seen indication already this cycle that Democratic interest perks up as election day gets closer.
I certainly think Angle can win by a small amount but if you asked me who has the better chance of winning this by 5 or 6 points I definitely think it's Reid.
Again, this is Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling, a very respectable polling outfit, admitting that his own poll may be missing quite a few Democratic voters here in Nevada. And I can attest, he may very well be right.
Don't believe me? Believe all the support I'm finding around "my 'hood" in Henderson!
And take a look at these supposedly "unenthusiastic" Nevada Democrats getting out the vote!
This is the secret to our success, the secret that you don't hear about from the national media hyping Angle's out-of-state fundraising and generic ballot numbers all over the place.
And there's something else you don't see. You don't see the (lack of) quality of the Republicans' top candidates.
I mean, come on, Angle runs AWAY from the local press! She won't answer any voters' questions on anything, especially if one's not a hand-picked tea-nut.
That's why even prominent Nevada REPUBLICANS are supporting Harry Reid.
And again, I can tell you that this is no myth. I talk to them often, long time Republicans and Indpendents who often vote for Republicans have come to me and told me they're voting for Harry Reid and Dina Titus because they know these people are working hard to do what's best for Nevada.
Heck, even Joe Heck himself was caught flip-flopping yesterday on whether he will be voting for Reid or Angle!
Republican Congressional candidate Joe Heck appears to be having second thoughts about his support for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle.
When asked by a Nevada resident whether he plans to vote for Angle or Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Heck was quoted by Slate as saying: "I'm waiting to see all of the evidence before I make my choice."
That's very different from what Heck said before. He previously endorsed Angle.
In a speech at the Nevada Republican Convention, Heck urged Republicans to rally around Angle to “bring a new direction to Washington, D.C.” He called her work in the state Assembly "exemplary."
Heck also noted in a campaign email that "Team Heck is taking a leadership role in uniting the party."
Just like Sharron Angle, Joe Heck has been all over the place on all the issues while hiding from Nevada voters with real questions about what he intends to do on job creation, health care reform, housing, and so much more. Yesterday, we had a Congressional debate at the local synagogue here in Henderson. Watch for yourself how Heck flipped and flopped on so many issues.
Or if you can't sit through this much video, look at my handy, dandy condensed Twitter debate notes. ;-)
Basically, Joe Heck likes to tell teabaggers he's one of them and he's just as extreme right radical as Sharron Angle while he tells us he doesn't know if he'll even vote for Angle himself! Which one is it, Joe?
Heck told us last night he supports "infrastructure projects" to put people back to work, but he also said he opposed the very Recovery Act that included all those billions of dollars in infrastructure projects that are putting Nevada back to work. Which one is it, Joe?
Heck told us last night he supports some aspects of health care reform, but he's said many times before he wants to repeal the entire bill. Which one is it, Joe?
And Heck told us last night how important jobs are to him, but he's also said he doesn't think it's his job to create jobs. Which one is it, Joe?
Heck keeps saying all sorts of things out of different sides of his mouth. And while the tea-nuts may not care, a whole lot of voters do. They're looking for someone who provides real solutions, not another pretty face with nothing to offer but hot air.
And look who is providing real solutions.
Dina explained quite well last night how she's worked to bring jobs back to Southern Nevada, as well prepare us for the new clean, green economy of the future by investing in green collar jobs and good education. And it's not just at these debates. I see Dina Titus just about everywhere. She's meeting with constituents every time she's back here in the district. Even when Congress is in session, she's back here every weekend to meet with Nevadans.
And her office is always open to constituents who have questions about their health care. And constituents who need help negotiating with the banks to avoid foreclosure on their homes. And constituents who have all sorts of other issues.
Dina is the kind of representative that many Nevadans aren't used to, and that's a good thing. She listens to us the local voters. And she provides real answers, not hot air or prepared, scripted remarks directly from national party offices. The Beltway pundits may not care so much about that, but we the Nevada voters do.
So this is what the Beltway pundits are missing. They're missing me. They're missing my Republican neighbors who are fed up with typical politicians like Joe Heck and Sharron Angle, who say one thing but do something else entirely different. They're missing all my Democratic friends who they don't expect to vote, but are actually not just voting, but also volunteering to get out the vote! They're missing a whole lot, so don't be surprised if a whole lot of what they say about the elections here are proven wrong next month.
Take it from this local. ;-)