In the tank for Reid

Not sure what prompts people like Sun columnist Jon Ralston to publicly complain about the splinters in someone else’s eye when they themselves have a big log sticking out of their own head. But I might suggest that instead of whining about a competitor (even as he cites their work as an authority), he’d be better served by not writing in-depth pieces on political parlor games for the political class and start trying to better catch up on the biggest Nevada story in some time — the looming potential defeat of Harry Reid in 2010.

Sunday’s Review-Journal poll showed what should have been obvious to even the dullest of political analysts for at least the last 24 months: Reid remains stuck at a problematic approval-rating number of mid-30 percent. The poll also revealed something new and potentially far worse for the Reid re-election bid: In head-to-head match ups with two relatively inexperienced potential Republican candidates, Reid gets his head handed to him … by both of them.

It’s still early, of course. Reid has lots of money and things could change, of course. Obama’s waiting in the wings, of course. But I will guarantee you that the Reid camp isn’t taking all of this lightly. They know that Sen. Reid’s negatives among Nevadans aren’t getting any better despite a concerted effort to portray Sen. Reid as a powerhouse in Washington who really, really delivers the goods for Nevada. It’s a tough sell when Las Vegas’ unemployment is a whopping 13 percent and getting worse.

The Reid campaign will have to make some calculated decisions. He can’t bank on the economy dramatically improving in the next 14 months. Does he try to make a hypothetical case that things would have been worse without him? (Death strategy, if you ask me.) How does he overcome the perception by most Nevadans that the latest "stimulus" bill has not helped them? Does Reid remain at the point for President Obama’s unpopular health care reform bill? Or does he try to separate himself from this and other Obama policies that don’t play so well in Nevada?

The reality as we take a snapshot of this flowing political river on this day is that the most powerful politician ever in the history of Nevada is in trouble. You know it. I know it. Reid knows it.

Because Jon Ralston reads the Review-Journal, he knows it.

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