For years now Senate Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) has been lambasting the GOP and its supporters in attacks both fanciful and vitriolic, but now Bloomberg is scolding Republicans for at last making Harry Reid himself a target as the 2014 midterm elections near.
Bloomberg columnist Kathleen Hunter notes that Republicans are “invoking a harrowing image of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid” in an attempt to gin up independents and their own voters ahead of the 2014 elections.
The columnist informs readers about the Republican National Committee’s new campaign theme of “firing Harry Reid from his position as majority leader” for the 2014 midterm elections.
However, Hunter scoffs at the GOP’s attempt to focus on the constantly demagoguing Reid. “The strategy has a big glitch,” Hunter quips. “Almost half the voters don’t know who Reid is.”
Hunter does go on to note that Reid’s attack on conservative donors Charles and David Koch is even less effective as a greater campaign tactic than the GOP’s attack on the Senator. The reason? Even fewer voters have any idea who the Koch brothers are.
“Republicans needn’t worry too much, though,” Hunter says, “as Reid’s line of attack against them isn’t much better. He’s focused on an even lesser-known pair of bogeymen, the energy billionaire Koch brothers, who are financing a number of pro-Republican groups.”
This point is buttressed by a recent George Washington University Battleground Poll that found that Harry Reid is better known and more disliked than the Koch brothers.
The Battleground poll found that 35 percent of respondents had an unfavorable opinion of Harry Reid, but still 41 percent didn’t even know who he was. Yet that paled in comparison to what Americans thought of the Kochs. The poll found that a full 63 percent had never even heard of them and that only 25 percent had an unfavorable opinion toward them.
Regardless, Harry Reid has spent a year beating the anti-Koch brothers drum. He has blamed the donors for just about everything imaginable; Reid has hyperbolically claimed that the Kochs are responsible for such wide-ranging issues as the situation in Ukraine to the supposed disaster of global warming.
It appears, though, that Reid has failed to make much headway in his quest to make Americans fear and loathe the Koch brothers.
Hunter reported another poll that is bad for Reid: “A Gallup Poll released yesterday showed that 32 percent of Americans hadn’t heard of Reid, while 41 percent held unfavorable views of him.”
Still, Reid certainly deserves the attacks. After all, it was Harry Reid who claimed that he had “inside” information that 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney didn’t pay any federal income taxes. This was an obvious lie, as Reid never once made an attempt to prove his claim and Romney presented plenty of tax returns to refute it all. It was such a blatant lie that even the left-leaning Politifact gave it a “pants on fire” rating.
Hunter does ignore one big reason why Reid has spent so much time vitriolically attacking the Koch brothers: its good for bleeding donations from left-wing party faithful.
A recent Slate article noted that Koch bashing can triple a Democrat’s fundraising haul.
The RNC’s focus on Reid, though, mirrors the campaign against now former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, one of the most despised leaders in recent memory. It could be said that the long-running campaign against Pelosi was successful enough to have her fall from the Speaker’s chair down to her current status as ignored and powerless. Republicans hope to do the same to Reid.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.