Lame puns aside, the new Nevada Senate Mason-Dixon poll, showing Sen. Harry Reid with a 44%-37% lead over Sharron Angle, made waves today on both sides of the blogosphere.
Conservative Red State's Neil Stevens isn't happy about the poll, but tells conservatives to read it with a grain of salt: "The 44 for Reid is slightly higher than his trend in recent months, but is not unreasonable," Stevens wrote. "The 37 for Angle, though, is abnormal. If we look back at the Real Clear Politics trend, Angle has only been below 40 twice: once in a fraudulent Research 2000/Daily Kos poll, and again in an earlier Mason-Dixon/Las Vegas Review-Journal poll."
He continued: "I certainly don't blame Democrats for feeling good about this result, but I would caution Republicans not to get too worried until some other pollster shows Angle dipping quite that far."
NRO's Jim Geraghty is less sanguine about the poll, but also takes refuge in Reid's number: "The only silver lining for fans of Angle is that Reid is only at 44 percent, one point over his previous high. That's still pretty lousy for a well-known incumbent."
HotAir's Ed Morrissey also asserted that the more important number (and one that doesn't bode well for the Reid campaign) is his still-low percentage, rather than the margin between Reid's and Angle's ratings.
"Even though [Angle] bled voters in almost every category, they didn't go to Reid. He's still only getting 44% of the vote, far below the 50% threshold an incumbent needs to be safe in this climate. For the moment, voters don't have to pull the lever for Angle, and she has three months to define herself rather than allow Reid to do it for her. If 56% of the voters don't want Reid, that shouldn't be a difficult sell for Angle, but she has to step up her game now and avoid any further mistakes."
Liberal blogs read an entirely different set of tea leaves, with Daily Kos' Jed Lewinson writing that Reid isn't "out of the woods yet," but "if he continues to run the kind of campaign he's run and Sharron Angle continues to run the kind of campaign she's run, there's no question but that he's going to end up the winner." More: "Between Angle's general craziness, her extreme right-wing economic views, and her campaign's general incompetence, it's not hard to see that she's got virtually no path to victory, especially given the campaign team that Reid has put in place."
BalloonJuice's DougJ made a similar point: that Angle's out-of-the-mainstream views will turn voters off by the time they head to the polls: "Angle isn't a run-of-the-mill winger; her old website sounds like it was written by a third-grade teajihadist, e.g. 'pay back the deficit', 'Sharron Angle will work toward making a basket of commodities (metals, oils, etc.) as a basis for maintaing the value of the U.S. currency'. Current intelligence suggests that Angle writes many of the comments on Ben Smith's blog."