11/02/2010 01:25 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Harry Reid's Last Stand

In the Nevada Senate race, which could be decided by fewer than a thousand votes, there is one major factor working in favor of Sen. Harry Reid (D).

Harry Reid says, and it is true, that because of his hard work and the respect he has in the Senate, he has saved or created tens of thousands of Nevada jobs. These jobs involve real workers in companies, projects and towns who know that Harry Reid was there for them, very personally, and they will be there for him on Election Day.

Harry Reid also says, and it is also true, that he has fought for countless Nevada veterans in their personal cases, and for a major new vets center that enables Nevada vets to receive quality care in Nevada, rather than having to journey to California. These Nevada veterans know that Harry Reid was there for them, very personally, and they will be there for him on Election Day.

Harry Reid has personally helped a very large number of Nevada voters during his career in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

This human, real-life factor is not scored in statistical analysis of likely voter turnout, but their loyalty to Reid, in response to his loyalty to them, could be decisive in a razor-thin election.

We live in a political cesspool of attacks and counterattacks. Pundits tell voters what to think. Pollsters tell voters whether they are going to vote. Experts tell voters the outcome of elections before the polls have opened.

The fact is, Harry Reid helped many voters and their families over many years in very personal ways. They know it. They remember. To them this is personal. They may score in polls as Democrat, Republican, independent or unhappy voters, but they will vote for Reid because they know Reid fought for them.

This is true in other close races. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and dozens of members of the House and Senate have helped many constituents who will remember on Election Day.

There is why many Nevada Republicans endorse Harry Reid and warn about his opponent, Sharron Angle.

They know that Angle has launched dishonest attacks against her Republican and Democratic opponents, and has had virtually no respect or influence in the Nevada Legislature at a time Nevada needs the influence and clout of Harry Reid.

Angle says it is not the role of the Nevada senator to fight for jobs for Nevada workers, fight against foreclosures of Nevada homeowners, fight for lower interest rates for Nevada credit cardholders, or protect Social Security for Nevada seniors, which Angle would phase out.

Today is Harry Reid's last stand in political life. This is almost certainly the last time his name will appear on the ballot.

The Nevada vote will have a razor-thin outcome. My guess is that Harry Reid will win narrowly. This is Harry Reid's last stand, but the cavalry is coming for Reid, from voters who know very personally that when they needed him, Harry Reid led the cavalry charge for them.

Tip O'Neill was right. All politics is local, and this will save Harry Reid.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill's Pundits Blog and reached at

This post originally appeared in The Hill.