Poll: Angle Edges Ahead of Reid in Nevada

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Republican candidate Sharron Angle (L), and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)

The Tea Party tsunami that just rolled through Delaware is reflected in a new CNN-TIME-Opinion Research poll of likely Nevada voters showing Republican and Tea Party favorite Sharon Angle running slightly ahead of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

THE CNN-TIME-ORC survey of likely voters in Ohio reveals much broader advantages for Republicans in both the Senate and governor races, while Democratic Sen. Patty Murray is faring better in Washington, where she has a nine-point edge over Republican Dino Rossi.

Most striking is how closely fought the Nevada Senate race remains. The poll in that race, which pits the most powerful Democrat in the Senate against former state assembly member Angle — shows that Angle is capturing 42% of likely voters polled to Reid's 41%, a statistical dead heat. Angle's standing against Reid comes despite the fact that there's an official Tea Party candidate on the ballot who might be expected to siphon away votes from her. But Scott Ashjian is backed by only 5% of those polled.

There is a striking gender difference among those polled in Nevada. Women go for Reid by a 51-33 margin, while men back Angle, 49-32. With both parties' bases mobilized and overwhelmingly backing their nominee, the critical ground will be fought over independent swing voters. Angle wins here, collecting 40% compared to Reid's 33%. Among self-described moderates, Reid holds sway, 57-23, while Angle has a big margin among conservatives, 72-13. Reid wins among those who attended college (44-40) as well as those making less than $50,000 a year (45-31). But Angle prevails among those with no college experience (44-37). They're evenly divided among voters making more than $50,000.

The Democrats face what appears to be deepening trouble on two fronts in Ohio. Republican Rob Portman, a former congressman from Cincinnati and a trade and budget official in George W. Bush's Administration, leads Democratic Lieut. Gov. Lee Fisher 52-41, among likely voters for Republican George Voinovich's Senate seat. There is, as in Nevada, a big gender gap among men polled — they favor Portman, 61-35. Women favor Fisher, 47-44. Portman wins among rural, suburban, college-educated, not-college-educated — the only educational/income group he loses to Fisher is among those making less than $50,000 a year, 49-46. Portman also does well among independents, who favor him 59-30, and Tea Party supporters, who give him a 91-6 edge.

Incumbent Democratic governor Ted Strickland lags GOP challenger and former congressman John Kasich 51-44. As in the Senate race, men favor the Republican, 57-39, while women tilt Democratic, 49-46.

Murray is the lone bright spot among Democrats in the poll, carrying a 53-44 lead over Republican challenger Rossi among likely voters. Men barely favor the Republican, 50-48, but women overwhelmingly support Murray, 58-37. They split the independent vote, with Murray holding a 47-46 edge over Rossi, a former state senator and twice unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate. Unfortunately for Murray's party, the recent conventional wisdom in political circles doesn't pay attention to her state. Since 2004, the oft-heard refrain is "As goes Ohio, so goes the nation." In the race to become Nevada's next governor, Reid's son, Rory, fares worse than his father: he is 27 points behind Republican Brian Sandoval. The senior Reid wins backing from 8% of self-identified Tea Party supporters; his son gets 9%.

All three polls were conducted via telephone by Opinion Research Corp. Sept. 10-14. In Nevada, 789 likely voters were queried; in Ohio, 820 likely voters; and in Washington, 906 likely voters. They share a margin of error of 3.5%.