LAS VEGAS — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid kicked off Election Day with a plea to campaign staff and volunteers to continue working feverishly to turn out Democratic voters up until the polls close at 7 p.m. local time Tuesday. Reid already cast his ballot during Nevada’s early voting period, so his Tuesday morning itinerary didn’t include the usual voting booth photo op. Instead, Reid invited the press to join him at a campaign office in Summerlin, an upscale Las Vegas suburb, to rally staff and volunteers expected to work the phones and coordinate voter transportation to the polls throughout the day. Reid is hoping to stave off a stiff challenge Tuesday from tea-party-backed former state Assemblywoman Sharron Angle. The Majority Leader suggested during a brief news conference that if he prevails, it will be because a significant percentage of Nevada Republicans supported him over a candidate whom they view as too extreme. “The Republicans around the state, all the leadership, are supporting me. I realize why they’re doing it. They’re not doing it because they suddenly want to become Democrats; they do not want a Republican Party with her brand on it,” Reid said. “They want a Republican Party that is one of their mother’s and father’s Republican Party — one that they can look to that Ronald Reagan would support.” Reid declined to predict a win Tuesday, and recent polls have shown the race to be a virtual dead heat. But Reid said his advisers have told him the early voting results have been encouraging, and that a voter turnout operation he described as “the best get-out-the-vote effort in the history of the country” for a nonpresidential race would carry him to victory. Angle and Reid have clashed at almost every turn during a nearly five-month general election campaign. But one thing both sides agree on is that there are virtually no undecided or persuadable voters left, leaving the outcome to be decided on turnout. Reid was scheduled to make a second stop at another Las Vegas-area campaign office this afternoon. “The difference is going to be made today,” Reid said as he greeted and thanked volunteers working the phones inside his Summerlin campaign headquarters. “We take nothing for granted.”
Correction: Nov. 2, 2010
The article misstated the time polls close in Nevada on Tuesday. They close at 7 p.m. local time.