LAS VEGAS -- The dead-heat race between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Tea Party-backed Republican Sharron Angle comes down to a contest between the efficiency and effectiveness of a well-oiled get-out-the-vote organization and the energy and enthusiasm of a grass roots movement .
Fresh data from the Nevada Secretary of State's office on in-person early voting, which ended at 9 p.m. Friday, suggests the power of each side -- and leaves the outcome too-close-to-call.
With the official Election Day two days away, 379,589 Nevada voters have already gone to the polls -- about 60 to 65 percent of the Secretary of State's projected turnout of about 700,000. A late surge of registered Democrats voting gave the party a 42.9%-41.1% edge in registered voters -- though which candidate they voted for isn't known. Chalk one up for an organization?
But Republicans turned out for early voting in a greater proportion than their registration numbers; Republicans make up 36.7 percent of registered voters. A sign of the power of the Tea Party movement?
And while the last Mason-Dixon poll, which gave Angle a statistically insignificant 4 percentage point lead, give Reid 84% of the Democrats and Angle 85% of the Democrats, Angle led among independents 55%-38%. But only 16% of early voters were independents, while 21.3% of registered voters are independents.
Both candidates remain very unpopular: 56% -- a record -- say they had unfavorable opinion of Reid and 45% said the same thing of Angle. Still, only 2% of those surveyed said they would chose "none of the above," which is an option in all statewide Nevada elections.
Sandoval leads Rory Reid by wide margin
While one Reid is locked in a tight battle in Nevada, another Reid on the statewide ballot is trailing badly.
Rory Reid, the embattled Senate majority leader's son and chairman of the state's biggest county's commissioners, trails Republican Brian Sandoval, a former federal judge, 54%-38% in a new Las Vegas Review-Journal/KLAS-TV poll. Sandoval beat the scandal-ridden incumbent, Jim Gibbons (R), in the Republican primary.