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The Most Important Number in Politics Today



Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Photo by Robert Giroux/Getty Images

Thirty-four percent.

That's the percentage of people who view Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) favorably in a new poll conducted for the Las Vegas Review-Journal by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc.

Amazingly, Reid's favorable numbers compare, well, unfavorably, to those of embattled Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) who admitted an extramarital affair and resigned his leadership position last week. Thirty-nine percent of Nevada voters had a favorable opinion of Ensign while 37 percent saw him in an unfavorable light.

These numbers paint a dire picture for Reid as he prepares to seek a fifth term in the Senate.

Despite the state's Democratic tilt in the 2008 presidential election (President Obama won Nevada by 12 points), Reid's numbers have lagged for months as he seeks to balance the difficult task of leading the Senate Democratic caucus and running for reelection in a swing state.

The good news for Reid is that Republicans have yet to find a candidate -- and Rep. Dean Heller (R) is almost certainly a "no" -- and their time line to do so has been pushed back by the controversy surrounding Ensign.

Still, with numbers as consistently mediocre as Reid's, it's hard to imagine that Republicans won't find someone serious or, at the very least, credible to challenge him.

After all, when you are less well thought of by voters than an admitted adulterer, it's never a good place to be.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 22, 2009; 12:32 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

Chris,

As you know I cover Nevada politics from Las Vegas (please feel free to call me at 702.220.9303 for follow-up), and I'd like to edify you and your readers with some important points -

This is NOT just another everyday, garden-variety, adulterous affair people - Ensign committed the crime of sexual harrassment as an employer with one of his employees (the other woman's husband also worked for Ensign) - this issue is about women being free from being preyed upon in the workplace by predatory employers!

Of course, Ensign (and his staff and supporters) want to spin it like it's just another "affair" and much ado about nothing - so the story dies and people forget what happened - and Ensign gets away with his crime and gets re-elected?

That's how people in power commit crimes and get away with and stay in power!

This issue is about women being treated with full equal opportunity, due dignity and respect and upholding the laws that protect all people!

I personally do not care what consenting adults do after working hours in the privacy of their lives - just as long as no laws are being broken, no one ends up beaten, bruised or bleeding - consenting adults may do as they please...but, there are laws to protect employees from employers who are predators!

Ensign, by his own admission that he was the superior/employer and the other woman was the subordinate/employee, committed the crime of SEXUAL HARRASSMENT - that's an established and undisputed fact!

Ensign, again by his own admission, states that the "affair" went on for several months, even after Ensign confessed to his wife, Ensign continued to pursue the other woman...

...and even after the other woman (and her husband who was also employed by Ensign) left the employ of Ensign, the time-line clearly indicates that Ensign continued to pursue the other woman - these FACTS raise the specific question:

"Is U. S. Senator, John Ensign, (Republican-NV) who's obviously GUILTY of SEXUAL HARRASSMENT, also GUILTY of STALKING and being A SEXUAL PREDATOR!"

Posted by: JohnathanAbbinett | June 23, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if chrissuxcox having his face and ears in the pillow most days has anything to do with her utter ignorance?

I wonder if it is hard to talk with your mouth full and head empty.

Feed the cats.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 22, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait to dance on your political grave.

==

While you wait you can dance on McCain's

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 22, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Senator Reid, meet Senator Daschle. Maybe you guys could be consultants together after you get booted out of office!

I can't wait to dance on your political grave.

Posted by: kenpasadena | June 22, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

The people of Nevada were the ones who rejejcted Yucca Mountain. Too bad so many wingers want to force it on them.

Posted by: drindl | June 22, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Through sheer force of repetition, Harry Reid managed to instill a Pavlov-dog anti-Yucca Mountain attitude in Nevada. Reid convinced Obama to kill the project -- and, with it, the multi-billion dollar budget and thousands of jobs it supported and would have continued to bring into southern Nevada for years to come.

Now these engineers, construction workers, and clerical personnel are standing in the unemployment line. And their homes are listed in the bloated foreclosure market. And the office buildings leased by the DOE are standing vacant. With the casino industry in the toilet, there's really no plan to improve the employment picture in the state.

Now the people of Nevada are starting to wonder if Reid should have worked harder to negotiate for a permanent fund payable to all Nevada residents, à la the Alaska oil profits payments, instead of rejecting Yucca Mountain point blank. Or perhaps demand an oversight panel to review the project. There were many options available to Reid. But rather than make a rational decision, Reid decided to turn Yucca Mountain into a fervent campaign issue.

In doing so, Reid revealed himself to be a politician to the bone. He's in it for himself, first and foremost. The people of Nevada come second.

Posted by: bookpeddlers | June 22, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Reid's Mormon faith has something to do with his inability to lead. Most of the Mormons I've known are not only vehemently conformist in all their dealings but reflexively so, like it would never occur to them to act any other way. Reid has been a huge disappointment as majority leader, caving again and again to Republicans who as far as anyone can see have nothing whatever to offer, nor any leverage to affect policy, much less dictate it.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 22, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

The poll found that most Americans would be willing to pay higher taxes so everyone could have health insurance and that they said the government could do a better job of holding down health-care costs than the private sector....

==

This is a sea change. We've had a steady thirty years of messaging about taxes from the Club for Growth / Grover Norquist yahoos, and a huge pile of steaming BS about how bad taxes are for the e-CON-o-my, and it people can think past that and are willing to endure higher taxes for a better society then that messaging isn't working anymore.

But an alarming number of Democratic senators are lining up behind the insurance companies, seeking to protect a few hundred wealthy executives instead of doing what's good for America. They need to be pressured and shamed into doing the right thing.

Not even considering the Republicans, they just want Obama to fail and that's all they're about. To hell with the GOP.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 22, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Is there a more worthless creature on this planet than Dingy Harry?

Except the crazy cat lady, chrissuxcox of course.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 22, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Reid lost it for me with his NIMBY position on Guantanemo. He couldn't even answer a simple question about his absurd position that it was unsafe to move detainees into a penitentiary. For a guy who used to be a boxer, he sure isn't much of a fighter and he's capitulating to Republicans, who have no bargaining chips and no power to do anything.

Obama needs a majority leader who will aggressively promote his positions, not a spineless man who caves to the obstructionists,

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 22, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"Here's the most important number in politics today: 72%. That's how many americans favor a public option in health care, and are willing to pay higher taxes to have it:"

There's an interesting analysis on 538.com on why there seems to be difficulty on getting this public option despite the overwhelming public support for it. It looks at the PAC contributions and how it affects preferences.

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/06/special-interest-money-means-longer.html

Posted by: DDAWD | June 22, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

ZERO.

The most frightening number of politics today...

The number of major political leaders (and mainstream journalists) who appear to recognize that democracy and the rule of law has broken down at the GRASSROOTS:

***

FED SECURITY AGENCIES FUND, OVERSEE NATIONWIDE VIGILANTE 'GESTAPO"

• Civilian volunteers fronted by federally-funded organizations such as Citizen Corps, Infragard and USA on Watch stalk, harass unjustly "targeted" persons and families with covertly implanted GPS tracking devices -- a fed-devised, automated extrajudicial targeting and punishment "torture matrix."

• Reports of torture, disabling injury from silent microwave radiation "directed energy weapons" widely deployed to local law enforcement under various federal programs from agencies that include the Justice Department.

• Feds, locals refuse to investigate victim complaints in nationwide cover-up of alleged atrocities -- an American social genocide/politicide.

WHEN WILL CONGRESS AND THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION WAKE UP AND RESTORE THE RULE OF LAW IN AMERICA?

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener


Posted by: scrivener50 | June 22, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"The Most Important Number in Politics Today"

what changes as a result of that number? Zip. Therefore its importance is perhaps overstated.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 22, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Here's the most important number in politics today: 72%. That's how many americans favor a public option in health care, and are willing to pay higher taxes to have it:


The New York Times sort of buried this over the weekend, but reform advocates have taken note--a vast majority of Americans favor a major overhaul of the U.S. health care system, including the creation of a government-run public insurance option.

The poll found that most Americans would be willing to pay higher taxes so everyone could have health insurance and that they said the government could do a better job of holding down health-care costs than the private sector....

The national telephone survey, which was conducted from June 12 to 16, found that 72 percent of those questioned supported a government-administered insurance plan -- something like Medicare for those under 65 -- that would compete for customers with private insurers. Twenty percent said they were opposed.

Posted by: drindl | June 22, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

You have to wonder whether some of these potential Reid challengers are considering becoming potential Ensign challengers. Reid has his problems, but he is the majority leader and it is getting late in the game. It might be easier to win the hearts of the values voters against Ensign than it would be to win bipartisan support against Reid.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 22, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

"Still, with numbers as consistently mediocre as Reid's, it's hard to imagine that Republicans won't find someone serious or, at the very least, credible to challenge him."

Not at all. None of them have much, or any, credibility, since all they do is bray and whine.

Posted by: drindl | June 22, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the correction.

Posted by: JakeD | June 22, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Why does the caption read: "White House press secretary Robert Gibbs"?

Posted by: JakeD | June 22, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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