Mason-Dixon Polling & Research just released a new Nevada poll (11/30-12/2; 625 registered Nevada voters; live telephone interviews), and the results show Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid trailing two potential Republican opponents, former state Republican Party chair Sue Lowden (leading Reid 51-41 percent) and ex-Secretary of State candidate Danny Tarkanian (ahead 48-42 percent).

With a personal approval index of 38-49 percent positive to negative, Sen. Reid continues to be viewed unfavorably even with 100% name identification. These numbers are only a little better than those continually recorded by now defeated New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D), so the consistency of his negative polling results over an extended period of time should be of great concern to the Majority Leader.

But the Senator isn’t the only member of the Reid family that may be on the statewide ballot next year. Rory Reid, the Senator’s son and Clark County Commissioner, is considering a run for Governor. With Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons in deep political trouble, Democrats have the Nevada state house race high on their national target list. But, Gibbons may not survive his fight for re-nomination even if he does seek another term. Former federal judge Brian Sandoval has a 39 to 18 percent lead over the governor in the Republican primary according to this Mason-Dixon survey. With an incumbent scoring so low among voters of his own party, it is almost assured that he will not be in next year’s general election.

Testing Sandoval as the Republican, and Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman running as an Independent, which he has repeatedly suggested is a possibility, Rory Reid places dead last in such a gubernatorial field. Goodman would lead Sandoval and Reid 35-32-24 percent.

Both of the statewide races carry major national ramifications. Obviously, should Harry Reid lose, the Senate will have a new Majority Leader. With Nevada gaining an additional congressional district in reapportionment, the Silver State becomes a key redistricting state in 2011, thus both parties covet the Governorship. So, this small state again figures to play a sizable role in next year’s election.

Jim Ellis is a former political advisor to the House Republican majority and currently provides election analysis for clients of the PRIsm Information Network. With Bennet Kelley he has formed Filibanter, to provide live presentations and media interviews combining political filibustering and banter.