A new poll from a Democratic firm suggests that Senate candidate Sue Lowden’s (R-NV) idea that people could use the barter system to reduce their health care costs may have damaged her chances in a general election against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D). At the very least, it appears that Lowden is a weaker GOP candidate than one of her rivals in the primary, former UNLV basketball player Danny Tarkanian.
The numbers, obtained by Las Vegas Sun columnist Jon Ralston: Reid 42%, Lowden 35%, right-wing Independent American Party candidate Tim Fasano with 5%, and Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian 3%. With Tarkanian as the Republican nominee, he and Reid are tied at 37%-37%, with Fasano at 7% and Ashjian with 2%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4.5% margin of error.
This latest poll was conducted by the Democratic polling firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz and Associates, and was commissioned by the progressive group Project New West. The TPM Poll Average currently has Reid trailing Lowden by 52.6%-38.3%, and trailing Tarkanian by 50.6%-39.9%. However, it should be noted that much of these averages rely on older data, and are also dependent on polls of strict two-way races — adding in other conservatives to the ballot can have an effect.
Ralston says the numbers “go counter to previous public polls (but not some private ones)…Those numbers don’t comport with other surveys showing Lowden and [GOP gubernatorial candidate] Sandoval with large leads over the Reids. [Note: Harry Reid’s son Rory Reid is a candidate for governor.] But the point here is the volatility of the electorate, the volcanic bursts of anger, the intolerance for exaggerated flaws.”
About three weeks ago, Lowden famously said: “Let’s change the system and talk about what the possibilities are. I’m telling you that this works. You know, before we all started having health care, in the olden days, our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor. They would say I’ll paint your house.”
Since then, Tarkanian has begun to attack Lowden her over the gaffe, questioning her fitness to be the GOP nominee against Reid. The Democrats and allied liberal groups have also taken Lowden to task for her comments, including everything from TV ads to a protestor wearing a chicken outfit.