Reid’s Surging Where It Counts: Independents

WDCPIX.com/Lauren Victoria Burke

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Out in Nevada, the Harry Reid-Sharron Angle slugfest will almost surely be decided by the state’s growing bloc of centrist, undecided voters. They’re the ones possibly pissed at Reid for helping to pass a massive health insurance reform bill, but also put off by Angle’s right-wing extremism and propensity for rhetorical gaffes (rape and incest victims should just make “a lemon situation into lemonade,” the unemployed are “spoiled”, etc.) In Reid’s case, those independents are crucial to his success. “That’s who’s driving his negatives, the people who voted for him six years ago and now say he’s too much a part of the Washington establishment,” says University of Nevada-Reno political scientist Eric Herzik. “If he can woo them back, he wins.”

According to a new poll, Reid’s beginning to do just that. His support among independents has climbed from 24 percent to 38 percent, Public Policy Polling reported today. And when stacked next to his tea party-endorsed candidate, Reid’s standing among independents looks even rosier, the PPP poll found:

Where Lowden had led Reid 62-27 with independents, Angle has only a 51-41 advantage. Where [Sue] Lowden had held Reid to a 75-17 lead with Democratic voters, Angle’s nomination has allowed him to expand that to 85-10.

If Reid can keep clawing back more support from independents—especially those who’ve voted for him before—by highlighting Angle’s extreme positions and touting the bacon he’s brought back to Nevada, then you’ll see that independent support continue climbing. And come November, that independent backing could be the difference between a narrow victory or an embarrassing loss for Harry Reid.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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