Las Vegas Sun

October 19, 2014

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Harry Reid, John Ensign approval sinks as health care debate continues

WASHINGTON -- Greetings, Early Liners. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s approval rating at home remains low, Sen. John Ensign’s is lower and Republican senatorial hopeful Danny Tarkanian is the sleeper candidate of the summer, according to polling results released over the weekend.

The latest numbers out of Nevada got a little attention here and there with the moral of the story tending to go along these lines:

Reid is in trouble for his re-election bid in 2010, but his promise of $25 million in campaign fundraising helps.

Let the TV campaign begin.

Reid is in Pahrump today, with a few other events in Nevada later this week that are likely to draw the anti-health care protesters that have been shouting down Democrats in the state. (Republicans are already planning to attend one of the Reid events.)

Democratic Rep. Dina Titus is the latest pol to be barraged by the shouters at her Congress on the Corner session Saturday in Henderson.

No one seems to be protesting at the events hosted by Republicans, Ensign or Rep. Dean Heller.

Congress remains on recess this week and next, but the health care debate continues.

Democrats are trying to ignite the grass-roots campaigners that lodged President Barack Obama into office, hoping to catch up with Republican messaging that has overpowered the debate and shifted popular opinion against the congressional plan.

One anti-abortion group is using the health care debate to raise money for an ad to run against Reid, saying he is not anti-abortion enough.

On another note, one head-turner in this morning’s papers: Both Reid and Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley make cameo appearances in today’s Washington Post Style section profile of It-Girl lobbyist Heather Podesta.

Podesta is the wife of Democratic pol Tony Podesta, sister-in-law of former Clinton staffer and President Barack Obama’s transition leader John Podesta.

Reid has long allied with John Podesta on policy initiatives, including this month's energy summit in Las Vegas, and that Heather Podesta would host a fundraiser for him goes with the territory.

But who knew Berkley was a Podesta guest at their family place in Venice?

Other good reads in the weekend papers:

Sun colleague J. Patrick Coolican trips to Mesquite to talk economic development policy: Is Nevada really ready to promote sports over gaming as the entertainment of choice?

Speaking of economic development, those solar plants may be great new industry for Nevada, so long as they’re not installed anywhere near anything, the Sun reports after talking to Amargosa Valley residents challenging a new development.

That’s all for now. Check back later for all the political news in Nevada.

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