The latest Mason-Dixon Poll released by the Las Vegas Review-Journal shows Reid up 1 point, 45-44.

The headlines are screaming that 68% of voters would have preferred another GOP candidate, but that seems like a meaningless number since the choice is between Reid and Angle, and on that choice voters are largely split.  If anything, that number may reflect that voters wanted a stronger GOP candidate to get rid of Reid, hardly a measure in which Reid should take comfort.

Here are the key numbers:  Reid still is only polling at 45%, an abysmal number this late in the game for a multi-term incumbent.  Despite two months of pummelling Angle, Reid still has higher negative numbers:

Reflecting hardened views of Reid, his unfavorability ratings remain high and nearly unchanged from past surveys: 52 percent have a negative opinion of him, while 39 percent have a favorable view, and 9 percent are neutral. Two weeks ago, the numbers were 51-40-9.

Voter opinion of Angle is still shifting. She is seen unfavorably by 43 percent and favorably by 32 percent compared with 45-37 two weeks ago. Another 24 percent have a neutral opinion compared with 17 percent two weeks ago, suggesting a quarter of Nevadans still have an open mind.

Reid is in trouble, and his team knows it.  Expect even more over-the-top attacks on Angle, but it will not help.  Reid is a fully known quantity, and people know they don’t like him.  That will not change. 

Reid’s only hope is to so disgust the electorate that they stay home or cast a protest vote for none of the above.

Update:  H/t to a commenter, the NRA will not be endorsing Reid, with Reid’s support of Elena Kagan as one of the motivation factors:

The vote on Elena Kagan’s confirmation to the Court, along with the previous year’s confirmation vote on Sonia Sotomayor, are critical for the future of the Second Amendment. After careful consideration, the NRA-PVF announced today that it will not be endorsing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for re-election in the 2010 U.S. Senate race in Nevada.

And further h/t to another commenter for pointing out the absurd coverage at Outside The Beltway, including this gem:  Harry Reid Unveils First Negative Ad.  First negative ad?  Maybe it’s a joke I just didn’t get.  Reid’s campaign website has a catalog of the negative ads he’s run, link here if you dare.

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