Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Republican Triage Hits Nevada


Two weeks ago we took a quick peak at how the NRCC had begun the triage process. I completely forgot serial loser Danny Tarkanian. Tarkanaian started running for office in 2004, when he ran for state Senate. He lost. Two years later he ran for Secretary of State. He lost. Then it was U.S. Senate in 2010, He lost. He ran for Congress in 2012 (and again in 2016). He lost both times. He ran for the state Education System in 2014. He lost. This year he decided to challenge Republican incumbent Dean Heller for the GOP Senate nomination. But, when polling showed him losing-- and when Trump told him not to run against Heller-- he pulled out and decided to run for the open congressional seat in NV-03. The last time he ran in the 3rd, this is what happened:
Jacky Rosen- 146,869 (47.23%)
Danny Tarkanian- 142,926 (45.96%)
On that same day Trump beat Hillary in that district by a full point.

His opponent in the R+2 district is New Dem and socialite Susie Lee, a really heinous, dreadful candidate, though perhaps not as heinous and dreadful as Tarkanian. As of June 30 she had raised $2,129,227 to his $1,186,612. They both won their June 12 primaries convincingly, Lee with 25,475 votes (66.9%) and Tarkanian with 15,257 votes (44.1%). 38,073 Democrats voted in the primary-- primarily because Trump had endorsed him-- but just 34,572 Republicans showed up. And that brings us to Jon Ralston's report that the NRCC had decided, despite Trump's backing to Tarkanian-- to toss him overboard. Aware they're going to lose their House majority, the NRCC wants to preserve their resources for candidates who can win. In their view, that doesn't include Tarkanian. They're putting their Nevada resources behind Cresent Hardy in his NV-04 race instead. In that re-run of the 2012 election, former Congressman Steve Horsford has raised $682,449 and former Congressman Cresent Hardy has raised $415,967. Unions have already spent $695,078 supporting Horsford and the NRCC is well aware they're going to have to drop millions of dollars into the district and feel they can't spend it in both the 3rd and the 4th.

Ralston found the decision to drop Tarkanian and stick with Hardy odd, "considering the difference in district demographics: In CD-04, where Hardy is trying to reclaim his old seat from the man he defeated four years ago, Steven Horsford, Democrats have a 9 percentage-point lead. In CD-03, where Tarkanian is taking on Democrat Susie Lee, Democrats have only a 2 percentage-point edge."
What this decision means practically is that whatever ad reservations and money already has been laid down in the market by the NRCC will not be split between the two districts but funnelled into the CD-04 race-- and all future investment will be to help Hardy.

Of course, if polling warrants, this decision is not irrevocable. But this withdrawal of support is a devastating blow to Tarkanian, who already is in a huge financial hole to Lee and needs outside help to be competitive monetarily and on the airwaves.

I’m told the NRCC has polling that shows both races close and thus could have made sound arguments for investing solely in either one. But this decision is a clear sign that the NRCC believes in Hardy and also has data that indicates:

1. Tarkanian, who has never won a race, is…Tarkanian; and 2. Horsford has identifiable vulnerabilities, some of which were exploited when Hardy beat him in 2014 in one of the biggest upsets in Nevada annals.

This will become evident in mid-September when the airwave ad glut takes hold here and elsewhere. House GOP strategists are optimistic that control could come down to a handful of seats, and Nevada is one of the few places they can play offense instead of defense (two open Democratic seats) so naturally they want to focus all of their energies and resources on one race so as to not dilute their efforts.
Clearly the NRCC wasn't just looking at the odds. 2 in 7 (27.4%) is pretty piss poor odds to gamble on:

But 1 in 7 (15.2%  is far worse:

In the other big Nevada races, a new Suffolk poll shows Democrat Steve Sisolak with a 2 point lead over Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt in the governor's race, and conservative Democrat Jacky Rosen leading incumbent Dean Heller (R) by less than a percentage point in the Senate race. Trump's statewide approval/disapproval rating is 46/50%.

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At 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

fuck Nevada. when they aren't electing Nazis, they gave us harriet reid, as corrupt a fucking political coward as ever lived. fuck them all.


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