Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010 | 3:37 p.m.
The fifth straight public poll showing Republican Sharron Angle with a small but growing lead (within the margin of error) over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was released today.
The polls technically show a continued statistical dead heat, but Angle is trending up.
The latest poll was released today by CNN/Time, which showed Angle with 49 percent support to Reid’s 45 percent.
The crosstabs show a dramatic drop in the number of none of the above voters—from 10 percent at the beginning of the month to just 3 percent this week. That could be an indication Republicans have succeeded in convincing voters that a none of the above vote would only help Reid. (In a race this close, it likely could help either candidate.)
The poll also indicates Reid has his base locked tighter than Angle. Many in Nevada’s Republican establishment have backed Reid, who has worked to convince all voters that Angle is too extreme in her conservative beliefs to be an effective Senator.
Perhaps in recognition of that base problem, Angle has been campaigning with national Republicans such as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. And Elizabeth Crum first reported this morning that U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., will be campaigning for Angle in Las Vegas this week.
Caveat with all polls, of course: the accuracy depends on the sample used. And the sample demographics for the CNN/Time poll aren’t available.
UPDATE: A Democratic source is challenging the validity of the CNN/Time sample, arguing that an extrapolation of the numbers indicates the poll under samples Democrats and Republicans and over samples independents. And, as Las Vegas Sun columnist Jon Ralston also pointed out, the source argues that if early voting patterns remain consistent, Reid would be ahead because of his tighter lock on the base. So far, Democrats have a 1 percent turnout edge in raw numbers over Republicans in early voting.
Now, early voting patterns don't always reflect Election Day turnout. Republicans generally under perform in early voting. But this year they've been turning out in higher numbers during early voting than in past years.
Again, as the overused line goes, the only poll that counts is on Election Day.