Nevada Republican insiders “hope that John Ensign will voluntarily step aside rather than seeking a third term in the Senate but even if he doesn’t his chances of winning another term are pretty small,” according to a new Public Policy Polling survey.
Asked who they want their Senate candidate to be next year from a laundry list of candidates just 20% pick Ensign, with Dean Heller leading the way at 30%.
A majority of Republicans still approve of Ensign- 53% to 30% who disapprove. But there’s an increasing sense even with GOP voters who are happy with his job performance that the party needs a different candidate next year. One person who Republican partisans are not interested in seeing as that different candidate is Sharron Angle. Just 9% say she would be their top choice, putting her not just behind Heller and Ensign but also Sue Lowden at 12% and Danny Tarkanian at 10%. Even with the conservative voters who fueled her surprising victory in the primary last year Angle’s in just fourth place with 11%. Her future prospects for snagging a nomination for any high profile statewide office don’t look very good.
We also tested a direct Ensign-Heller match up and the results on that have changed dramatically from a similar poll conducted three months ago in early October. At that time Ensign led Heller 45-37, but he now trails 52-34. I can think of several reasons why things would have changed since then. One is that even though a majority of Nevada Republicans still like Ensign, the result of the Reid/Angle race made it clear they can’t nominate just anyone and expect to win and that may have them feeling more like it’s necessary to swap out Ensign.
(h/t – Political Wire)