Reid Could Face Stiff Challenge in 2010 Election

Published August 25, 2009


Will Harry Reid become the next Tom Daschle

The Senate majority leader is already facing the ire of voters disappointed in the Democrats' health care reform proposals. Now, polling shows his potential Republican challengers have the upper hand going into the 2010 election. 

All this suggests the Nevada Democrat, a former boxer, will have to fight hard to avoid the fate of Daschle, who as Senate Democratic leader lost his seat in the 2004 election. 

"The bigger they are, the harder they fall. It would be a huge coup," said Sue Lowden, chairwoman of the Nevada Republican Party and a possible candidate. 

Lowden is not a declared candidate, but a Mason-Dixon Polling and Research survey released over the weekend showed her leading Reid by 45 percent to 40 percent in a hypothetical match-up. 

But the poll showed Reid faring even worse against declared GOP candidate Danny Tarkanian, a former basketball player for the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. 

The survey, reported in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, showed Tarkanian leading Reid by 49 percent to 38 percent in Nevada. 

The sagging numbers come at a time when congressional Democrats are facing tough questions from constituents on their health care reform proposals. 

Those questions are starting to translate into carefully targeted ad campaigns. The Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, announced Tuesday it would launch a new ad this week targeting Reid and accusing him of backing taxpayer funding for abortions. 

But Reid has a lot of time to make up the difference in the polls. 

"I think anyone that knows anything about Harry Reid's history would never count him out," Nevada Democratic strategist Bill Vassiliadis said. "He's a fighter. He was literally a fighter when he was younger -- probably one of the most underweight fighters that ever fought, but did pretty well and he's fought every step of his career." 

The poll of 400 registered Nevada voters was taken last Monday and Tuesday. It had a margin of error of 5 points. 

FOX News' Shannon Bream contributed to this report.