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Monday, March 1, 2010

According to new poll, voters less likely to vote for Reid following the president's visit

During his whirlwind visit to Las Vegas two weeks ago, President Barack Obama mentioned U.S. Sen. Harry Reid by name four dozen times, gave him a big hug and talked him up as if he was a long-lost brother.

In remarks that could not have been more laudatory, Obama repeatedly characterized the veteran Democratic leader as a man "made of very strong stuff" who was making the right decisions for the state back in the nation's capital.

But as Reid faces an uphill path to win re-election to a fifth Senate term, Obama's enthusiastic endorsement does not appear to have improved the Senate majority leader's standing among constituents, according to a new poll conducted for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Reid got no bounce from Obama's visit on Feb. 19, when the president spoke highly of him at Green Valley High School and to business leaders at CityCenter, polling indicates.

A larger percentage of voters surveyed (17 percent) said they would be less likely to vote for Reid following the president's visit than said they would be more likely to vote for him (7 percent). Seventy-five percent said Obama's visit would have no effect on how they vote.

"Reid was not helped, and Obama was not any more popular than he was before he came to the state," said Brad Coker, managing director at Mason-Dixon Polling & Research.

Obama's day in Vegas "did not have much of an effect" on Reid's re-election chances, notably among independent voters, Coker said.

"The independents hold the key to Reid, and for Reid there is no sign he is cracking them right now," he said.

Mason-Dixon researchers spoke over the phone with 625 likely Nevada voters Monday through Wednesday. The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points. (continues here)

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