If you’re looking for results in the special elections in Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District and New York’s 9th Congressional district, you can find them here (Nevada) and here (New York). At this hour, the early count looks fantastic for both Republicans.
In New York, Bob Turner leads, 51 percent to 49 percent, with 121 of 512 precincts reporting.
In Nevada, Mark Amodei leads 61 percent to 34 percent, with about 12,400 votes counted so far.
UPDATE: AP calls it for Turner. Marshall has called and conceded to Amodei. The night ends with the GOP going two-for-two.
Meanwhile, in the other special election today, Nevadans go to the polls to select a congressman to replace Dean Heller, who was appointed to the U.S. Senate earlier this year. Polls are open until 7 p.m. local time, and Nevadans in the 2nd Congressional District will choose among Republican Mark Amodei, Democrat Kate Marshall, and two other candidates, Tim Fasano and Helmuth Lehmann.
So far, 40,190 registered Republicans, 25,621 registered Democrats, and 9,297 voters registered with other or no party have voted early.
Mark Amodei is running in a special election on pretty friendly territory for a Republican in Nevada, the R+5 2nd Congressional District. But he appears to be surging ahead, despite Democrat Kate Marshall running multiple television ads accusing him of trying to “end Medicare.”
Public Policy Polling has a new survey out, showing Amodei ahead 50 percent to 37 percent; I looked in the crosstabs and found that among those 65 or older, Amodei leads, 59 percent to 34 percent.
But just as a lot of candidates suddenly started appearing with their trucks after Scott Brown’s surprise win, I think we might see a lot of candidates bring out their mothers:
I myself find it a little cheesy when candidates bring out their mothers; inevitably, the response ad from the rival is promptly denounced as, “they’re so low, they’re attacking my mother!”
It’s easy to forget, but Tuesday will be Election Day in two corners of the country.
In Nevada, residents of the 2nd congressional district will select their representative in Congress for the remainder of 2011 and 2012, choosing between Republican Mark Amodei, Democrat Kate Marshall, and two other candidates. Tim Fasano and Helmuth Lehmann.
Early voting has been brisk, with 20,038 registered Democrats, 32,068 registered Republicans, and 7,208 other voters casting ballots so far. That’s a healthy 12,030-vote margin for the Republicans, but there’s no guarantee that that translates to a 12,000-vote margin for Amodei.
Amodei’s closing negative ad compares Marshall’s cookie-cutter campaign rhetoric to that of some other well-known Democrats who aren’t polling well in this district these days:
And Amodei’s closing positive message is that “we’ve been promised recovery, and we’ve been given misery. Let’s send a message to Washington.”
A late-August poll from Democratic firm Public Policy Polling put Amodei ahead by only one, but there are signs that Washington Democrats are giving up:
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s investment has been limited to a few field staffers dispatched from Washington. In truth, the party has all but given up on winning; early-voting numbers show a sluggish Democratic turnout, suggesting that Amodei is en route to a big win.
The two districts are mirror images of each other, in that Nevada’s is an R+5 while New York’s 9th congressional district, the district once represented by the infamous Anthony Weiner, is D+5 in the Cook Partisan Voting Index. But Democrats seem nervous about the chances of their nominee David Weprin, who’s apparently barely head of GOP candidate Bob Turner. For what it is worth, a poll of 2,055 likely voters by Magellan Strategies shows Turner with a four-point lead over Weprin. Patrick Brennan, NRO’s 2011 William F. Buckley Fellow, laid out why Turner could be “the Scott Brown of Queens” here.
Redistricting will force New York to lose a congressional seat in the 2012 elections, and so it’s possible that the winner of this special election will find himself running against an incumbent next November.
It’s worth noting that special-election victories don’t always foreshadow the trend of the following elections; Democrats enjoyed special-election wins by Scott Murphy and Bill Owens in New York, Ted Deutch in Florida, and Mark Critz in Pennsylvania in 2009 and 2010 before getting thrashed in the 2010 midterms; the GOP won special elections with John Campbell and Brian Bilbray in California in 2005 and 2006, and then went on to lose the House and Senate in 2006. But a GOP sweep on Tuesday would help set the conventional wisdom that 2012 is shaping up to be a tremendously difficult year for the Democrats.
Out in Nevada, the secretary of state is tracking the early voting results for the September 13 special U.S. House election pitting Republican Mark Amodei against Democrat Kate Marshall.
As of this morning, 11,559 registered Democrats have returned absentee ballots or voted early, 19,178 Republicans have returned ballots or voted early, and 4,134 members of other parties have returned ballots or voted early.
While it’s not certain that every registered Republican is voting for Amodei and that every Democrat is voting for Marshall, it still represents a margin of 7,619 more Republicans than Democrats.
Under its current lines, Nevada’s 2nd congressional district is the most Republican in the state, geographically encompassing almost the entire state outside of Las Vegas, including Reno and the capital, Carson City. It may be the single most bizarre district in the country, encompassing ghost towns, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Nevada Test Site, Yucca Mountain, legal brothels, and Area 51. The non-extraterrestrials in the district tend to vote Republican; it scores an R+5 in the Cook Partisan Voting Index. Heller won increasingly easily, earning 63 percent of the vote in 2010. In 2008, John McCain and Barack Obama effectively tied in the district, while Obama won the state’s other districts handily.
The NRCC takes to the airwaves in Nevada, hitting Democrat Kate Marshall for supporting tax increases. They also imply that Nevada’s recent severe economic troubles can be laid at her feet, but I’m not sure how much voters will blame the state treasurer for high unemployment, loss of tourism dollars, and the most severely collapsed housing market in the country. (UPDATE: See below.)
Having said that, the Nevada treasurer is responsible for “ensures the state’s investments and debt obligations are managed prudently and in the best interest of the people of Nevada” and the state has the worst debt-to-budget ratio in the country, hitting 54 percent earlier this year.
The Republican in the race is Mark Amodei, who’s up on the air talking about “the human toll of this recession.”
“Instead of getting better, things have gotten worse.” Somehow, I suspect we’ll hear a lot more of messages like that in the coming year and a half, both in Nevada and nationwide.
Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District will select its next representative in a special election held on Sept. 13.
UPDATE: Then again, when a candidate campaigns by declaring, “I have taken the state through this fiscal crisis, steered it with a steady hand,” perhaps it’s fair to suggest she’s taking ownership of the state’s economic condition. And I suspect in the minds of many Nevadans, the crisis continues: The unemployment rate in the state is the highest in the nation at 12.4 percent, the housing market and commercial real estate markets are described as “bouncing along the bottom,” and regional executives are projecting that the state’s economy may not come back for another three to five years.