In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Reid Camp Explains Why 'None Of The Above' Option Will Help At Polls

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Newscom / Ron Sachs

"In the past, if you were to cast an anti-incumbent vote, you would cast that vote for the Republican," said Reid communications director Kelly Steele. "To a certain extent that seems less likely this time because both parties' numbers are upside down."

The anti-incumbent vote, Steele said, is more likely to go to an independent, like the Tea Party candidate, or to "none of these candidates."

Every cycle, "none of these candidates" appears as an option on the Nevada ballot. In 2004, for example, that option got nearly 13,000 votes, according to the secretary of state. In 1998, the option received more than 8,000 votes -- more than the difference between Reid and then-congressman John Ensign.

Steele also said the Libertarian Party is urging people to vote "none of the above." But the state chair of the party, Joe Silvestri, tells TPMDC that's not true. According to Silvestri, the party voted in February not to put up a candidate for the Senate race, but is not pushing people to vote the "none" option.

Reid's campaign also claims the poll was biased to begin with, as the Review-Journal's editorial page is consistently critical of Reid.