Harry Reid's goal: Localize, localize, localize
One thing that's interesting about the Nevada Senate race is that no Democrat is under more pressure to successfully localize this election and prevent it from becoming a referendum on national Dem policies than is Harry Reid.
That's because the unemployment rate is highest in Nevada, making this state perhaps the easiest target for Republican efforts to argue that Obama/Dem policies have failed. Meanwhile, one of Reid's central strategies -- to argue that as majority leader, he has the clout to deliver for Nevada -- relies on getting voters to focus heavily on the most local of achievements.
That's why we're starting to see a stepped up effort from the Reid camp to highlight local issues, such as this new spot touting Reid's success in bringing in Federal funds to save thousands of education jobs:
This comes after the Reid campaign has focused a ton of energy on his efforts to save Nevada's City Center project by intervening with banks to secure financing, and on his success in saving a veterans' hospital.
There's an interesting paradox at play here. No Democratic candidate in the country has been more central to helping deliver on Obama's agenda than Reid has. Yet his success may hinge, perhaps more than any other candidate, on his ability to make the election less about national issues than about local ones.
This explains a lot about Reid's strategy against Angle. He needs to paint her as extreme and temperamentally unfit for the Senate, rendering her an unacceptable alternative, in order to offset the desire of voters to punish Reid for the unpopularity of the Obama agenda. Meanwhile, he needs to show that she's clueless on jobs in order to undercut the primary rationale of her candidacy: The state's high unemployment rate. And finally, highlighting his ability to deliver Federal cash for the state becomes the reason to vote for him.
July 28, 2010; 5:05 PM ET
Categories: 2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans
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