Reid behind in poll by Las Vegas newspaper | NevadaAppeal.com

Reid behind in poll by Las Vegas newspaper

LAS VEGAS (AP) – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is lagging two challengers in the latest election poll.

The poll commissioned for the Las Vegas Review-Journal shows two candidates vying for the Republican state nomination have widen their leads over Democrat Reid.

Mason-Dixon Polling & Research gave Nevada businesswoman and former state senator Sue Lowden 52 percent to Reid’s 39 percent.

In another matchup, Las Vegas businessman and attorney Danny Tarkanian won 51 percent of the vote to Reid’s 40 percent.

Mason-Dixon interviewed 625 likely Nevada voters last week. The poll’s margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Pollster Brad Coker says the numbers will change depending on the emergence of the Republican and a possible Tea Party candidate, but that a three-way vote would help Reid.

Coker says it’s notable that Reid hasn’t broken 40 percent from previous polls.

The latest poll indicates Reid got no bounce from President Barack Obama’s Feb. 19 visit when he dropped the senator’s name four dozen times in appearances around Las Vegas.

Obama repeatedly characterized the veteran Democratic leader as a man “made of very strong stuff” who was making the right decisions for the state 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.

Seventeen percent of voters surveyed said they were less likely to vote for Reid following the president’s visit; 7 percent said they would be more likely to support Reid because of the visit. Others said the visit had no effect.

“Reid was not helped, and Obama was not any more popular than he was before he came to the state,” Coker said.