Articles and Analysis


In Nevada, neither Chicken nor Tea?

Topics: Nevada , Primary elections , Senate

Yesterday, Harry Reid received his best public polling numbers of the cycle in a new poll from DailyKos/Research2000. Not only is he leading in general election matchups against all three major Republican nominee contenders, but the weakest Republican candidate in the general election (Sharron Angle) leads the Republican primary field in both the DailyKos poll and another survey also released yesterday by Suffolk University. Still, I would like to throw some caution to the wind about the Republican primary and note a couple of key factors we should keep in mind.

1. Nevada's population grew by 32.3% from 2000 to 2009. Primary polling is notoriously challenging (see Tuesday's Alabama Democratic Gubernatorial primary) mostly because nailing down the likely voter population is very difficult. Pollsters try to model likely primary voters based on past history, and Nevada's population growth makes this task all the more difficult.

2. Multi-candidate primaries without an incumbent have produced some surprises so far this year. The Nevada race features three major non-incumbent candidates: Sharron Angle, Sue Lowden, and Danny Tarkanian. The second biggest surprise in Alabama on Tuesday was the strong showing of Robert Bentley in the Republican Gubernatorial primary. He had never registered higher than 10% in a poll, but, pending a recount, finds himself in a runoff with Bradley Byrne. We saw a similarly "strong" performance in Illinois by now Republican nominee for governor Bill Brady.

3. Nevada Republicans like Danny Tarkanian more than any other candidate for Senate. While most analysts have focused on the rise of Angle and fall of Lowden, Tarkanian remains very much in this ball game. It is true that his numbers have flat-lined in the mid 20's, but they also have not fallen. With Lowden's numbers dropping rapidly, she has turned her attention to attacking Angle. The candidate not involved in these attacks is often the one most helped by them.


With all this in mind, I believe it is fair to say that we do know that Sue Lowden is in major trouble. Her horse race trend is ominous, and her net favorable ratings are worst of the three main contenders.

But as they say, the only poll that counts is the one on Tuesday.



I think the best reason not to vote Republican is because they are doing nothing to meet Obama halfway right now, and are obstructing everything; if they can't work with him now, how the hell are they going to work with him if there are more of them? If they don't, our country will be at the point of anarchy.

I presume that the GOP strategy will be to obstruct Obama for the next two years, and than lie to the American people and say "he didn't want to work with them". If they don't cooperate, I think they should pass more things by reconciliation.

People forget that when the Democrats tried to obstruct Bush policies they tried they same type of reconciliation style politics. They also wanted to remove the fillibuster at the time. That is what the Democrats wanted to do recently. I predict when the GOP someday has control of the senate, they will likely get rid of the fillbuster, by use of reconciliation.

If HCR had not been passed by that method, it never ever would have happened. Iran, Iraq and Pakistan would have Universal coverage, and the US would be spending 40 percent of their GDP on health care expenses.

My Fellow Progressives, if anyone calls your ideas tyranical or extreme, just ignore them. You know what is right, and don't settle for appeasing the right. The right wing wants to "break us" as Jim Demint stated. They would like to turn every policy the President suggests into "his waterloo". If people like Palin, Toomey, Bush, Cheney, Gingrich, Demint, Inhofe, Halliburton, Michelle Bachmann, Rand Paul and others like them have power again, it will be "Waterloo" for our nation's future. That can't happen.



I looked at Intrade's forecast today. They are full of crap on this race, and Colorado. They have the GOP winning 8 seats. They had Reid's chances at 40 percent and In IL Alexis G.'s chances at 40 percent, after Kirk's lies about medal he never did win. At least Blumenthal got wartime honors for serving his country in the Vietnam era. His only mistruth was not being in Vietnam.

A good analogy would be if any of us helped a political candidate during a campaign. For instance, I could be in Vermont and help Patty Murray and never set foot in Washington, yet I still would have helped in her campaign. Some people may presume I did spend time in Washington state. Unless I was asked if I actually went there, and didn't say no, I wouldn't be a liar.



Very interesting, but I wouldn't be too quick to draw any assumptions from this. As the blogger stated, Nevada is one of the hardest states to poll effectively due to the dynamic population in that state. While this is a potentially good sign for the Democrats, it is still too early to tell. Until we get closer to November, I'm going to have to continue to call this one as a toss up. The polls are simply too inaccurate this far out in the election. Tomorrow a poll could come out saying the exact opposite, so who knows :P.



One more thing: The Democrats should really use a lot of resources on this race. Unlike some of the other Senate races where they are clearly doomed, (Such as Arkansas) this is one that they have about a 50% of hanging on to (as of right now, this number could change later of course.). I don't know why Bill Clinton is spending time campaigning in Arkansas, he's just wasting his time. He should be campaigning in a state like Nevada instead.



"I don't know why Bill Clinton is spending time campaigning in Arkansas, he's just wasting his time."

I agree, that is a complete waste. The whole belt from AR to WV is lost to democrats for a while. They should concentrate on holding the midwest and strengthening their position in the southwest.


Lt. Cmdr. Walrus:


"I agree, that is a complete waste. The whole belt from AR to WV is lost to democrats for a while. They should concentrate on holding the midwest and strengthening their position in the southwest."

Doesn't WV have a Dem governor and two Dem Senators? So does AR, although probably not for long. I'm sure a Dem presidential candidate won't be carrying them anytime soon (which may have been what you meant) but it seems like Dems are still doing pretty well at the state level.


Chris V.:


In regards to WV having two Democratic senators and a Democratic governor, I don't know if that means a lot. Byrd is an institution in WV (probably the most nationally influential politician in their history, no?), and Rockefeller has deep pockets and a big name. Manchin has very conservative views on social issues.

Also, the WV GOP doesn't seem to be very well run...which was usually the case in Southern states with longtime Democratic dominance. In other Southern states, the GOP organizations became stronger once enough voters trended Republican, and once the popular Dem incumbents started retiring or dying they started getting replaced by Republicans. I imagine the same will be happening in WV before too long.



Yeah West Virginia was one of the few states to actually shift to the right in 2008, but it wasn't by that much. Arkansas on the other hand...

Anyways, I agree that WV is becoming more conservative, but its definitely trending to the right at a very slow pace right now and is still one of the "middle" conservative states. The Arkansas Senate seat is lost already though. I just cannot see the Democrats holding on to it no matter how much campaigning they do there.

Aaron_in_TX: Expand that belt to Oklahoma :P. Definitely no way that the Democrats will be winning anything in that state for a long time.

Lt. Cmdr. Walrus: West Virginia is a strange state. It is very liberal economically, but very conservative socially. However, the people of the state will vote for a Republican over a Democrat at the national level just about every time.


Mark Adlard:

I think everyone is off topic here. Let us get back to NV. I do not know Harry but I agree that Tark will win tonight. My theory is that Lowden is going down and her base was in LV, just where Tark's base is also. So the voters peeling off of Lowden have a good chance to vote for Tark. Angle's base is in the north (Reno). Tark was running well in the north before the Lowden meltdown and Angle's rise, so he should hold his own in Reno tonight.

Tark's numbers have stayed in the mid-20s and Angle's in the low 30s while Lowden's meltdown has served to increase the undecideds. Very strange behavior for this late in the game, however, primaries are by definition strange to poll and to predict. If we take 3% from Lowden, 5% of the newly undecided and add them to Tark, he is tied with Angle. A stretch I agree but the votes are coming from Lowden's plus 30% so Tark could get the lion's share tonight.

That leaves around 10% undecided to fight over. I'm looking for a 40-35-20-5 Tark victory tonight. The only questions I have are can Tark reach 40? and will Lowden fall under 20?


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