Colo. GOP chief Wadhams missed chance to target Reid in Nevada

Colorado Republican Party chief Dick Wadhams denied rumors recently that he was leaving the state to head a Nevada campaign to unseat U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Wadhams has had a distinctly unsuccessful record in Colorado since he arrived in 2007 and the chance to move on and knock down vulnerable big-dog Reid seemed a good bet for a rebound. The results of two new Rasmussen Reports polls detailing Reid’s plummeting popularity confirm that if Wadhams took himself out of the running for the Nevada job, he made another bad strategic decision.

Rasmussen:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid trails two potential Republican challengers seeking to unseat him as he faces reelection next year in Nevada.

The first Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of the 2010 race shows Sue Lowden beating Reid by 10 percentage points, 50% to 40%. Lowden is chairwoman of the Nevada Republican Party and the preferred candidate of the Republican party establishment.

GOP hopeful Danny Tarkanian beats Reid by seven points, 50% to 43%. Tarkanian is a former basketball player for the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and the son of a legendary college basketball coach.

Any incumbent who polls below the 50% level is considered potentially vulnerable, and Reid is clearly in that category.

Wadhams gave a presentation in Nevada in support of Lowden earlier this month, sparking the rumors he was considering heading her campaign.

In addition to running Bob Schaffer’s losing bid for U.S. Senate last year, Wadhams captained the Colorado GOP as it lost across the state.

Wadhams was also the strategist steering Virginia Sen. George F. Allen’s failed 2006 run against Democrat challenger Jim Webb. Analysts agree Allen lost the contest as a result of the “macaca moment,” when the senator slurred a member of Webb’s team at a public function and the incident was posted on YouTube, going viral almost immediately, the tape replayed on network news. Allen’s response failed to satisfy both supporters and detractors. Wadham’s handling of the campaign was later set out as an example of how not to succeed by the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Hat tip Colorado Pols.

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John Tomasic

Writer, editor, teacher, web wrangler. He has worked for art, business, culture, politics publications, five universities and a UN war crimes commission. @johntomasic
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