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Ad blitz coming as Nov. 2 vote nears

Got ads? Yes, if you’re talking about Nevada’s U.S. Senate race.

And there’ll be a new one coming at you just about every day until Nov. 2, either from the candidates themselves or their supporters and surrogates galore.

That’s because the race between Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic incumbent, and his Tea Party-backed GOP challenger, Sharron Angle, is the closest in the country and has the most at stake: control of the Senate now led by Reid and the fate of President Barack Obama’s agenda.

Angle’s ads are focused on blaming Reid for not reviving Nevada’s dismal economy.

In a new 30-second TV spot, Angle uses stark black-and-white images of a laid-off worker, an elderly woman and a worried businessman to put faces on the state’s decline.

"They’re not statistics. They’re people," Angle says, sitting on a living room couch. "Let’s be honest. We tried it Harry Reid’s way, and it didn’t work."

The Reid campaign, meanwhile, has been pumping out ads slamming Angle for opposing mandated insurance coverage for everything from mammograms to colonoscopies to autism.

A new Reid TV spot also puts a face on the problem, opening with footage of Barbara Trznadel, a breast cancer survivor whose tumor was detected by a mammogram.

"In the Assembly, Sharron Angle tried to repeal the law that makes insurance companies cover mammograms," the ad narrator says, referring to her days in the Nevada Legislature.

As backup for its ad, the Reid campaign points to Angle’s own statements, including those in an interview with the editorial board of the Las Vegas Review-Journal on July 24.

In the interview, Angle was asked about a Reid mailer that says she voted against requiring insurance companies to pay for colonoscopies and mammograms.

Angle responded by saying she opposes insurance mandates because they can drive up costs.

"I even had a bill to remove those mandates here in the state, because every time they put a mandate on somebody can’t afford it," Angle said.

However, there is no record of Angle sponsoring such a bill.

Her campaign called the ad false because Angle did sponsor and vote for a bill in 1999, AB163, that required insurance companies to cover mammograms.

"Reid is trying to scare women into voting against me by making up facts out of thin air," Angle said in a statement.

Reid campaign spokesman Kelly Steele stood by the ad, saying it could only be false "if Sharron Angle has lied repeatedly during the campaign, to the R-J ed board and others."

— Laura Myers

The decision by Democratic leaders last week to send members of Congress home early to campaign for their jobs complicated things for fundraisers who had scheduled Washington events this week.

One soiree still on the calendar takes place tonight for Sen. Harry Reid at the home of Julian Epstein, an attorney and former Democratic staff director of the House Judiciary Committee.

It could be the final Washington event in what was a big Reid fundraising push among lobbyists and other D.C. denizens these past few weeks.

For her part, Republican challenger Sharron Angle held two Washington fundraisers in one day this past month.

At tonight’s Reid party, suggested contributions are $1,000 for hosts and $100 for guests, according to the invitation.

John Podesta, the former White House chief of staff, leads the welcoming list.

"I hope you will take a moment to personally wish Senator Reid well as he heads back to Nevada for the final push to November 2," Reid fundraiser Josh Alcorn wrote in an e-mail reminder obtained by the capital newspaper, Roll Call.

"Our race will be close until the very end, and while recent polling has been positive, we still face a Tea Party-backed candidate and Karl Rove’s mysterious, anonymous billionaires, who just dropped another $2 million into our race," Alcorn wrote.

The Rove reference was to the American Crossroads organization that has spent heavily in Nevada.

Reid campaign spokesman Jon Summers confirmed that Reid will attend.

The Senate recessed on Wednesday. Reid, the Senate majority leader, met with President Barack Obama on Thursday.

Reid’s staff did not disclose when he would return to Nevada.

— Steve Tetreault

Contact Laura Myers at lmyers @reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2919. Contact Steve Tetreault at stetreault @reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3900.

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