Poll Shows Big Bounce for Harry Reid’s GOP Challenger

Pro-life U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle has surged in the polls after capturing the Republican nomination in Nevada, seizing a substantial lead over Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, whose popularity tanked after forcing through the unpopular and pro-abortion health care reform.

Angle, the dark-horse GOP Tea Party candidate who decisively won Tuesday’s 3-way GOP primary, has seized an 11-point lead over Reid in Nevada’s U.S. Senate race, according to a new Rasmussen poll.

A Rasmussen telephone survey conducted Wednesday evening showed Angle garnering the support of 50% of likely voters, while Reid’s support has slipped to 39%. 5% of likely voters say they would prefer another candidate, and 6% say they are undecided.

A Mason Dixon poll of 625 likely voters earlier this month found that Angle had a slight lead over Reid at 44% to 41%, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The Rasmussen poll numbers are bad news for Reid, who earned 61% of the vote in 2004, and has consistently polled in the low 40th percentile against his potential GOP challengers.

Angle, a strong pro-life conservative, was a virtual nonentity in the early stage of the Nevada GOP primary until she received an endorsement from the Tea Party Express several months ago, giving her name recognition and catapulting her poll numbers from the single digits to the 40% of Republicans that won her the Senate nomination.

Reid’s campaign is banking on Nevada voters rejecting Angle’s Tea Party affiliation. But voter anger over the health care reform in the state is still palpable: revelations this week by Politico that the start-up health insurance provider nHealth will close its doors by December 31, owing to the burden of government-imposed mandates, will likely add fuel to the fire.

Rasmussen also reveals that despite a hard-fought primary, Republicans are already lining up behind Angle, with 88% in support. Reid, who did not have a primary challenge, is only drawing 68% support from his Democrat base, and independents prefer Angle over Reid by 10 points.

Angle, a former Nevada assemblywoman, will also have the coffers of the Susan B. Anthony List at her disposal – the group has dedicated $1 million to toppling Reid from his lofty role as Senate Majority Leader. SBA List has accused Reid of wearing a “pro-life” label disingenuously, after ramming through the health care reform law with all its abortion mandates and having a 0% pro-life rating for the 111th Congress as scored by the National Right to Life Committee.

“Harry Reid calls himself a ‘pro-life’ Democrat then pushed for a health care bill using taxpayer dollars to subsidize abortion,” SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser said in her endorsement of Angle.  “The Susan B. Anthony List is committed to ensuring that Nevada voters see the distinction between Harry Reid’s false promises and Sharron Angle’s proven pro-life commitment.”

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