Google+

Tags: Nevada

The 2014 Governors’ Races That Aren’t Really Races



Text  



From the Tuesday edition of the Morning Jolt:

The 2014 Governors’ Races That Have No Actual Races

Yesterday I mentioned that Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval heads into 2014’s general election with no major competitors on the Democratic side. There are two other 2014 governors races where, so far, the state Democratic Party has effectively chosen to concede.

In Tennessee, incumbent Republican Gov. Bill Haslam faces a primary challenge… from a guy whose primary issue is that he wants the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to return his pet raccoon. You see, he really enjoyed showering with his raccoon, and no, that’s not some obscure metaphor.

Presuming Haslam can survive that challenge, he’ll head to the general election Democrats have two guys no one has ever heard of and who have no web sites, and Mark Clayton. No, not the Miami Dolphins receiver from the 1980s.

He’s run before, and embarrassed the state party last cycle, too:

In Tennessee, Clayton’s policy ideas set him apart from many other Democrats: He is unusual in opposing abortion rights and same-sex marriage, but he’s downright exceptional in saying that the Transportation Security Administration “mandates [transsexuals] and homosexuals grabbing children in their stranger-danger zones.”

He has been a volunteer for Public Advocate of the United States, a Falls Church-based organization that was branded a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its anti-gay rhetoric.

During Clayton’s failed Senate run in 2008, his Web site suggested that the U.S. government might be replaced with a “North American Union” and that Google was working against him at the behest of the Chinese government.

Heck of a pick, Tennessee Democrats! I can see why you love this guy! The state’s filing deadline is April 3, and the Tennessee primary is August 7.

What’s really remarkable is that from 2003 to 2011, Democrat Phil Bredesen lived in the governor’s mansion, and he won 68 percent in his reelection bid in 2006. Breseden departs, and the bench is empty.

It’s a similar story in Wyoming, where incumbent Republican Gov. Matt Mead is still missing a Democrat opponent. (Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill is challenging Mead in the GOP primary.) Some may scoff, “it’s Wyoming, the state of the Cheneys, of course the Republicans are dominant” – but Mead was preceded by Democrat Dave Freudenthal, who won narrowly in 2002 and then by a wide margin in 2006. Here we are, eight years later, and the Democratic bench for the top of the ticket race isn’t just weak; it’s nonexistent.

For comparison, in Idaho, Democrats are running a member of the Boise school board against a two-term incumbent. At least he’s done something and his campaign platform isn’t primarily about fighting the vast conspiracies out to get him.

There’s one state where Republicans are still looking for a candidate:  Vermont, where incumbent Peter Shumlin can pretty much schedule his inauguration ceremony for next year. For prespective, he’s pledging the state will have single-payer by 2017, even though it’s missing deadlines – sound familiar? – and other state Democrats are publicly expressing worries.  Emily Payton’s web site lists her as a “Republican/Independent” but she clarifies on her blog, “After the primary she will continue as an Independent for Governor representing De Udder Party candidate.” She also “insists a complete overhaul of US [sic] monetary systems is needed,” which is a tall order for an aspiring governor of Vermont. The Green Mountain State already has a declared Marijuana Party candidate for governor.

There are blue states where Republicans have some little-known candidates carrying their flag in the gubernatorial races, but few where their dearth of talent compares to the Democrats in Nevada, Tennessee, and Wyoming.

In Maryland, where Martin O’Malley is term-limited, Republicans have county executive David Craig and state delegate Ron George, as well as businessman Larry Hogan and Charles Lollar. All underdogs, but at least some of those guys have run and won races before; Lollar’s currently serving as a Major in the Marine Corps Reserves as an Intelligence Officer. Serious guys.

In Massachusetts, where Deval Patrick is term-limited isn’t running for a third term, Republicans have 2010 nominee Charlie Baker, a former state cabinet official under Governors Weld and Cellucci, and former CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, as well as Mark Fisher.

In Rhode Island, where technically-independent Lincoln Chaffee announced he wouldn’t seek a second term, Republicans have Cranston Mayor Alan Fung and entrepreneur Ken Block. Fung, the first Asian-American mayor in the state, running Rhode Island’s third-largest city, has been elected mayor three times and before that won a seat on the city council race.

In California, Republicans have State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly and former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Neel Kashkari. It’s understandable Republicans might want to write off a state that rejects Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman for Barbara Boxer and Jerry Brown, but neither one of these guys is likely to be an embarrassing amateur.

(You know who else is running for governor in California? Cindy Sheehan. I wonder if she wonders where the media went, and why they never call her anymore.)

Anyway, this gubernatorial crop is a good sign for Republicans; you want your best players out on the field, no matter the odds, because you never know when that heavy favorite might suddenly have a gaffe, get caught in a scandal, or somehow otherwise implode. 

Tags: Vermont , Tennessee , Nevada , Wyoming

National Review Sues over Nevada Health-Exchange Records



Text  



The Las Vegas Review-Journal has joined National Review in suing the Nevada Division of Insurance, an attempt to force it to release records regarding whether convicted felons were hired to work as Obamacare navigators. Reporter Tom Ragan writes:

The conservative magazine National Review is suing Nevada’s Department of Insurance to obtain records of nearly a dozen Silver State Exchange program workers who might have criminal histories. The Las Vegas Review- Journal has joined the lawsuit.

Filed Friday in Carson City District Court, the lawsuit comes nearly seven weeks after a reporter for the bi- monthly magazine was repeatedly denied information by the Division of Insurance. Attorneys J. Colby Williams and Donald J. Campbell are representing the Review-Journal.

According to the lawsuit, National Review investigative reporter Jillian Melchior asked division spokesman Jake Sunderland whether he could explain how the Division of Insurance might have hired workers with criminal backgrounds as “navigators” to help enroll Nevada residents in the exchange program under the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

But Sunderland, the lawsuit claims, “refused to provide any meaningful assistance and instead became extremely aggravated and, in fact, hung up the telephone on Ms. Melchior.”

Attorneys for the two publications contend that the information is a matter of public record that, by law, can be disseminated under the Nevada Public Records Act.

They state that the navigators deal with highly confidential information, including Social Security numbers, and any convicted criminals who obtain such information could “pose a significant threat to the privacy and safety” of Silver State Exchange participants.

“The purpose of the (Nevada Public Records Act) is to ensure the accountability of the government to the public by facilitating public access to vital information about governmental activities,” the lawsuit states.

Read the rest here.

Tags: Obamacare , Nevada

Middle Cheese: Keep an Eye on Swing-State Latinos



Text  



Middle Cheese writes in on a topic he’s been examining a while, how Obama and Romney stack up on the Latino vote.

Conventional wisdom holds that Mitt Romney is faring so badly with Hispanic voters that he cannot possibly win.

A recent CNN/ORC poll of Hispanics nationally finds President Obama has the support of 70 percent Hispanic voters compared to 26 percent for Mitt Romney. By comparison, John McCain got 31 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2008 and George W. Bush got 44 percent in 2004, according to exit polls.

Nationally, I think the more relevant comparison is George W. Bush, who was a two-term Governor of a border state, and got 35 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2000.

Further, national polls can be deceiving because they survey Hispanics from populous states like California and New York, who are overwhelmingly Democratic voters.

Let’s look at the polls of Hispanics in the key battleground states of Florida, Nevada, and Colorado. Now the polls are all over the place, depending on whether they surveyed registered voters or likely voters. However, comparing some recent polls to the 2008 results produces some very interesting trends:

PPP Florida Poll this week shows Romney with 47% of Hispanics and Obama with 49%.

In 2008, Obama took 57% of the vote compared to McCain’s 42%.

As we all know, a large portion — though not all — of Florida’s Hispanic population is Cuban-American, and that community tends to lean Republican more than Latinos who trace their heritage to other Latin countries. Having said that, there had been buzz in recent years that Florida’s Cuban-Americans were growing less solidly Republican, and the 2008 result might be seen as evidence of that. Either 2008 is an outlier, or Romney is winning them back, so far.

Middle Cheese continues:

WSJ/NBC/Marist Nevada Poll this week shows Romney with 36% of Hispanics and Obama with 62%.

In 2008, Obama took 76% of the vote compared to McCain’s 22%.

ARG Colorado Poll this week shows Romney with 38% of Hispanics and Obama with 53%.

In 2008, Obama took 61% of the vote compared to McCain’s 38%.

Team Romney has made some very smart adjustments in both the tone and substance of Romney’s stance on immigration, which is a gateway issue for Hispanics. For example, Romney announced that he would allow undocumented “Dreamers” who were offered a two-year deferral on deportation by Obama to stay in the country if he becomes President, and that he would seek a permanent legislative solution for these undocumented young achievers who pursue higher education or serve in the military.

By doing so, Hispanics — who have experienced sharply higher rates of joblessness under Obama than the general population — are increasingly receptive to Romney’s core message of promoting upward mobility and creating 12 million jobs through pro-growth policies.To wit, a new Latino Decisions national poll has Romney at 33 percent among Hispanics, a seven point increase from a month ago.

The bottom line: Obama is not where he was with Hispanic voters in 2008 and Romney is steadily improving on McCain’s showing, which will be critical in carrying these battleground states.

Mitt’s strong debate performance the other night will no doubt boost his numbers among independent Hispanics voters. I am going to go out on a limb and predict that Mitt Romney will do at least as well as George W. Bush did among Hispanics in 2000, and he will win a majority of Hispanics in Florida.

Tags: Colorado , Florida , CrossroadsGPS , Nevada , Polling

NBC Poll Shows Romney-Obama Tie in Iowa, Nevada, Colorado



Text  



BOOM.

President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney are deadlocked in three key presidential battleground states, according to a new round of NBC-Marist polls.

In Iowa, the two rivals are tied at 44 percent among registered voters, including those who are undecided but leaning toward a candidate. Ten percent of voters in the Hawkeye State are completely undecided.

In Colorado, Obama gets support from 46 percent of registered voters, while Romney gets 45 percent.

And in Nevada, the president is at 48 percent and Romney is at 46 percent.

As discussed yesterday, if a Republican is tied among registered voters, he’s probably narrowly ahead (or perhaps not-so-narrowly ahead) among likely voters.

All three swing states looked better for President Obama recently. In the RealClearPolitics average, Obama leads in Iowa by 4 (but he led by 10 in the one head-to-head poll conducted this spring), led in Colorado by 5.6 percentage points, and led in Nevada by 7.4 percentage points (note only two head-to-head polls conducted this year).

Of course, this doesn’t mean Romney will win or even necessarily be close in November. But the Romney campaign must feel a bit reassured to see some light-blue swing states finally turning purple.

Tags: Barack Obama , Colorado , Iowa , Mitt Romney , Nevada

Apparently, Nevada Caucus-Counters Hate to Work Weekends



Text  



From the first Morning Jolt of the week:

What Happens In Vegas Stays In Vegas — Including, Apparently, Caucus Results

We’re sorry, Saturday’s Nevada Republican presidential caucus did not conclude in time for the Monday edition of the Morning Jolt.

I exaggerate . . . but not by much.

As of 6 a.m. Monday morning: “As projected, Mitt Romney won handily, finishing with 50 percent. Newt Gingrich was second with 21 percent, edging out Ron Paul who had 19 percent of the vote. Rick Santorum finished last with 10 percent . . . GOP executive director David Gallagher says representatives from the campaigns approved the counting. Only 32,963 voters participated in the caucuses, far short of the 44,000 Republicans who voted in the 2008 GOP caucuses.”

The word late Sunday night:

More than 24 hours after Nevada Republicans began gathering at schools and community centers across the state to choose their presidential nominee, the election results remain uncertain.

While most of the results were released hours after the Saturday morning contest, the results from the state’s most populous county are still being tallied.

Clark County officials say they stayed up until the wee hours of Sunday morning counting ballots, but couldn’t finish the task. Only 70 percent of all the votes had been counted, and an official turnout for Clark County had yet to be made public.

“It is just layer upon layer of issues that we are trying to work through,” said acting GOP chairman James Smack. “We are not dragging our feet on it. We just want to make sure we get it right.”

One reason for the holdup?

Long lines, voter fraud complaints and angry Ron Paul supporters are turning a special caucus for religious voters who honor the Saturday Sabbath into a circus.

The Las Vegas caucus was supposed to start hours after the rest of the state concluded its Republican presidential caucuses.

But party officials were still frantically trying to sign in voters an hour after it started, further delaying election results from Nevada’s most populous county.

Part of the trouble was some Paul supporters told voters they could show up for the late-night caucus for whatever reason.

But voters could only participate if they signed a declaration affirming that they couldn’t vote during the regular morning caucuses because of their faith.

Clark County GOP chair David Gibbs says it’s up to voters to be honest.

Boy, that last sentence just sends waves of reassurance surging through your body, huh? Because if there’s anything that millennia of human history have taught us, it’s that people are honest, particularly when it comes to obtaining political power.

The finger-pointing has begun, but this is no time for this, fellas. There’s plenty of blame to go around.

Chuck Muth, a former Nevada GOP executive director, wrote on his blog that the night was the “Nevada GOP’s national embarrassment.”

“You can say this about Nevada Republicans: they are consistent,” Muth wrote. “They never blow an opportunity to blow an opportunity. And hoo-ahhh . . . did they ever blow this one!”

Clark County GOP Chairman Dave Gibbs did not return messages left on his cell phone Sunday morning.

By all accounts, the night was a foreseeable disaster, months in the making.

The county party leaders rebuffed the state party’s wishes for a streamlined method of delivering results and state officials here don’t have sufficient clout to order the local officials around.

Oh, and Fox News reports that in some precincts, there are disputes because of more ballots cast than people signed up for that precinct.

“Romney is at 49.6%. Will probably get over 50% once all NV GOP votes are tallied, sometime in 2013,” summarized Larry Sabato.

The era of caucuses must come to an end.

Tags: Mitt Romney , Nevada

Romney, the Weak Frontrunner Who Leads Everywhere



Text  



Mitt Romney’s rivals took aim at him in the Sunday-morning debate, but it’s hard to see a scenario where he loses all of his currently gargantuan lead in New Hampshire: 20 percentage points, 24 percentage points, 15 percentage points, 24 percentage points, and 17 percentage points in the past five polls.

Then there’s South Carolina, the kind of conservative, heavily evangelical state one would expect Romney to have a tougher time in . . . where Romney leads by 7 percentage points, 3 percentage points, and 18 percentage points in the last three polls.

Then there’s Florida, where Quinnipiac is out with new results this morning:

With 36 percent of Florida Republican likely primary voters, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has a double-digit lead three weeks before the nation’s first big-state presidential primary, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. But 54 percent of GOP primary voters say they still might change their mind.

Twelve points back in the Republican pack is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 24 percent, followed by former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum with 16 percent, the independent Quinnipiac University survey finds. Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul is at 10 percent with 5 percent for Texas Gov. Rick Perry and 2 percent for former ambassador Jon Huntsman. This first look at likely primary voters, a more select group, can’t be compared with earlier surveys of registered voters.

After that, it’s Nevada, which hasn’t been polled lately, but in mid-December, a survey had Romney at 33 percent, Gingrich at 29 percent, and Paul at 12 percent.

For a weak frontrunner, Mitt Romney sure leads in a lot of places.

Here’s more perspective: Since January 1, only one poll of the GOP field showed Romney trailing . . . anywhere, the PPP poll of Iowa that put Ron Paul up by one percentage point. That’s out of 21 polls of the nation, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida.

Tags: Florida , Mitt Romney , Nevada , Polling , South Carolina

Democrats Losing Young Voters in North Carolina, Nevada



Text  



A new analysis by researchers at Tufts University confirms what many suspected: Young people are less interested in the 2012 race than they were in the 2008 race, and the young voters who supported Barack Obama by wide margins last cycle are not, at this point, inclined to back the incumbent president by the same margin.

A new, comparative analysis of current voter registration data in the key electoral states of Nevada and North Carolina shows a drastic drop from  2008 levels, when a record-high proportion of young Americans turned out overwhelmingly to cast their votes to elect Barack Obama as President. 

“The state-specific data for young voters from both of these battleground states shows what can only be described as a profound loss of the registration advantage Democrats held during the 2008 election cycle,” said Peter Levine, Director of CIRCLE.  “That decline is a warning sign for Barack Obama, since more than two-thirds of young voters supported the Obama/Biden ticket in 2008.”

North Carolina — Between November 2008 and November 2011, North Carolina saw a net gain of 93,709 in the number of overall, new registrations.  However, youth registrants (ages 18-25) lost a net of 48,500 new registrations, while older adults (ages 26 and over) gained over 142,000 registrants. Of the 48,500 net loss in youth registrants, 80.4% were lost among registered Democrats, a net loss of 39,049 young Democratic registrants.

Nevada — Nevada’s registration rolls have shrunk by a net of 117,109 people since the 2008 election, of whom 50,912 (or 43% of the decline) are between the ages of 18-24.  The significant challenge for Democratic candidates in Nevada in 2012, including the re-election campaign of President Barack Obama, is not the ratio of Democrats to Republicans among Nevada youth, since Democratic young people still outnumber Republican young people on the registration rolls by 45,222 to 25,182. However, the potentially, negative electoral impact for the re-election campaign of President Obama is due to the decline in the youth share of all registrants — youth were 11% of Nevada’s registered voters in  2008 election but just 7.85% in October 2011.  Given the overwhelming support young voters showed President Obama’s 2008 campaign, with nearly two-thirds of young voters casting their ballot for Obama, this drop in the share of the electorate comprised of young voters could prove a major difficulty to the 2012 re-election campaign for President Obama in Nevada.

Unsurprisingly, both states rank among the 11 highest in the nation in unemployed young people:

NORTH CAROLINA

Youth Unemployment Rate (20-24): 18.4%

Youth Unemployment Rate (16-19): 27%

Number of Unemployed Youth: 124,000

Overall Unemployment Rate: 10.5%

NEVADA

Youth Unemployment Rate (20-24): 19.6%

Youth Unemployment Rate (16-19): 32.8%

Number of Unemployed Youth: 43,000

Overall Unemployment Rate: 14.4%

With numbers like these, why should young people be enthusiastic to vote for the status quo?

The other states with the highest youth unemployment rates: Washington, Arizona, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, California, West Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama.

Tags: Barack Obama , Nevada , North Carolina

Nevada Democrats to Candidates: Don’t Have Your Picture Taken With Obama!



Text  



Over in Nevada, party insiders are urging Democratic candidates to not have their picture taken with President Obama.

Interestingly, there hasn’t been much statewide polling in Nevada lately, at least according to Pollster.com. Public Policy Polling last checked in late July, finding Obama underwater, but only mildly, with a 47 percent approval rating and a 50 percent disapproval rating.

One week ago in the 2nd congressional district, which just elected Republican Mark Amodei by a wide margin, Obama was in much worse shape, with 33 percent approval and 59 percent disapproval. But it’s worth remembering that this is the most Republican-heavy district in the state (R+5) and that PPP indicated that Republicans were much more motivated about the special election than Democrats were.

But either way, if Nevada Democrats are avoiding Obama, that must be considered a major indicator that the president’s chances of winning the state in 2012 are significantly diminished . . .

Tags: Barack Obama , Nevada

The Nevada Caucus Panic Story Came Early This Year



Text  



Our friends at Politico need to look at a calendar. By midyear, this might be a phenomenon worth writing about:

In 2008, Nevada Republicans threw an early presidential primary caucus — and practically nobody came. For 2012, they’re hopeful the candidates will pay more attention. They point to the fact that unlike last time, Nevada has been approved this time as an early state by the Republican National Committee. Also unlike last time, in 2012 the Nevada caucuses will be binding and proportional, which the state’s Republicans hope will make them a bigger deal. Yet, there’s already evidence that the state again is being treated like chopped liver. More potential GOP candidates have traveled to Israel this year — three — than to Nevada.

Egads! It is February 7, 2011, and yet no one has yet stopped by for their precinct caucus scheduled for February 18, 2012! Clearly, this is a most newsworthy snub.

Tags: Nevada

Murray, Reid, At Odds Over Yucca Mountain



Text  



The Washington Times examines the conflicting campaign perogatives of two Democrats the GOP is gunning to unseat in November – Patty Murray and Harry Reid – regarding the nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s re-election hinges in part on his efforts to stop the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository from being built. But a fellow Democrat, Sen. Patty Murray, could hurt her re-election chances if she can’t show that she’s trying hard enough to get the project restarted.

Murray, the No. 4 Democrat in the Senate, is at odds with the rest of her party over Yucca Mountain, but the political climate in her home state has forced her hand:

Mrs. Murray and her Republican opponent, Dino Rossi, are pushing to get the Yucca site up and running so it can take waste from the Hanford Site, a partially decommissioned nuclear plant on the Columbia River in central Washington.

Hanford has been called the nation’s most toxic radioactive site, but it wasn’t until this year that the issue became a political liability for Mrs. Murray. Mr. Rossi began to argue that the incumbent senator hadn’t done enough to promote the Yucca alternative.

Rossi’s campaign is looking to exploit the the division:

[Murray] said she has voted “consistently” in favor of pursuing Yucca Mountain, “despite my own party leadership and despite the current president.”

Just before senators adjourned for their summer recess, Mrs. Murray introduced an amendment in committee to a spending bill that would have restarted funding for the Yucca repository.

Her fellow Democrats defeated her amendment, leaving Mr. Rossi to argue she’s too beholden to her own party and Mr. Reid to look out for her state’s interests. He said that explains why she didn’t object to allowing the confirmations of the three Nuclear Regulatory Commission members.

“She votes with her leadership, she is in leadership,” Mr. Rossi said.

Tags: Nevada , Washington

Murray v. Reid



Text  



The Washington Times examines the conflicting campaign perogatives of two Democrats the GOP is gunning to unseat in November – Patty Murray and Harry Reid – regarding the nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s re-election hinges in part on his efforts to stop the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository from being built. But a fellow Democrat, Sen. Patty Murray, could hurt her re-election chances if she can’t show that she’s trying hard enough to get the project restarted.

Murray, the No. 4 Democrat in the Senate, is at odds with the rest of her party over the Yucca Mountain issue, but the political climate in her home state has forced her hand:

Mrs. Murray and her Republican opponent, Dino Rossi, are pushing to get the Yucca site up and running so it can take waste from the Hanford Site, a partially decommissioned nuclear plant on the Columbia River in central Washington.

Hanford has been called the nation’s most toxic radioactive site, but it wasn’t until this year that the issue became a political liability for Mrs. Murray. Mr. Rossi began to argue that the incumbent senator hadn’t done enough to promote the Yucca alternative.

Rossi’s campaign is looking to exploit the the division:

[Murray] said she has voted “consistently” in favor of pursuing Yucca Mountain, “despite my own party leadership and despite the current president.”

Just before senators adjourned for their summer recess, Mrs. Murray introduced an amendment in committee to a spending bill that would have restarted funding for the Yucca repository.

Her fellow Democrats defeated her amendment, leaving Mr. Rossi to argue she’s too beholden to her own party and Mr. Reid to look out for her state’s interests. He said that explains why she didn’t object to allowing the confirmations of the three Nuclear Regulatory Commission members.

“She votes with her leadership, she is in leadership,” Mr. Rossi said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: Nevada , Washington

Subscribe to National Review