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Americans coming to dislike Harry Reid almost as much as they dislike fellow Democrat Nancy Pelosi

August 23, 2010 |  5:38 am

Democrats Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House speaker Nancy Pelosi face challenging elections

Nevada Democratic Sen. Harry Reid is catching up to fellow Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California in terms of being disliked by Americans nationally.

A new poll out from Rasmussen Reports finds that, of course, a majority of Americans dislike both of the Democratic legislative leaders who lead one of the least popular and less trusted institutions in American society.

For much of this year, the crusty Reid's unfavorable ratings lagged within the once-impressive 40% range, while Pelosi's unfavorables have consistently led her male powerbroker in the more impressive 50+% range.

But now thanks to both of them carrying the heavy congressional water for Barack Obama's controversial and expensive legislative agenda while the president boosted his....

...own unfavorable rating to majority status, Reid has been able to close to within screaming distance in the unfavorable gap with Pelosi, who's next in line to the presidency after the VP.

Rasmussen finds that 59% of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of the 11-term House member from San Francisco, while the four-term Reid now trails Pelosi by only 3 points at 56% unfavorable. Both politicians are 70 years old.

The same poll also finds Reid trailing Pelosi in favorable ratings, 26-34.

With Republicans now building a seven-point lead in generic congressional ballot polls, both Democrats face reelection campaigns and the voters on Nov. 2. Fortunately for both career politicians, those elections are local, not national.

Democrat president Barack Obama looks very happy

Even if Reid and Pelosi win on those ballots, however, they might lose anyway. A change of 39 House seats over to Republicans makes Pelosi a former speaker, while a loss of nine Senate votes would cost Reid his cushy majority leader job.

Despite Obama's best efforts -- supporting a Muslim mosque near New York's ground zero, frequently vacationing and golfing during foreign wars, being late responding to the gulf oil spill, breaking his Guantanamo-closing promise and cramming costly healthcare through instead of focusing on the economy and jobs -- Obama still trails both leaders of Congress in disapproval.

So far, only 52% of Americans think of him unfavorably. Though he still has two years to work on that with the voluble help of Vice President Joe Biden.

And all three Democrats trail Congress, which fully 75% of Americans disapprove.

Still, Obama has done his best to help the political pair boost their unfavorable numbers.

At expensive fundraisers that only elite donors with $30,000 can afford, he's praised Pelosi profusely and repeatedly for her help with administration legislation. The president has also repeatedly raised millions for Reid's state campaign at exclusive fundraisers in Las Vegas, a city of excess he once advised against visiting.

But in an impressive political switcheroo, last week Obama began redirecting his blame for the still-sagging economy and persistently poor jobs situation away from eight years of failed you-know-what by the you-know-which party of you-know-who from Texas.

Obama began instead to blame Congress, which has been controlled by his own party since the 2006 elections. And which actually contained him too for half that time.

So, with that kind of wily assistance from a party supporter in the White House, Reid still has a realistic shot before midterm election day of catching Pelosi in the important 2010 category of unlikeability.

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-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photos: Associated Press