I’ve often warned about the Nevada Senate race that Harry Reid had the money to make that seat competitive again despite polling that showed him behind by double-digits. Sure enough, a new Mason-Dixon poll shows that Reid is either statistically tied or leading his GOP opponents:
Forty-two percent of Nevada voters said they would vote for state GOP Chairwoman Sue Lowden in a potential match-up against Reid, while 39 percent would support the majority leader, according to a Mason-Dixon poll released Friday.
By contrast, Lowden led Reid 47-37 in a mid-April Mason-Dixon poll, both surveys having been sponsored by the Las Vegas Journal-Review.
The new poll shows Reid making up ground against — if not overtaking — other potential Republican opponents.
Reid leads former state Assemblywoman Sharron Angle (R), a favorite of Tea Party activists, 42-39 percent. The top Senate Democrat is also in a statistical dead heat with businessman and former UNLV hoops star Danny Tarkanian: Forty-two percent of Nevadans would vote for Tarkanian and 41 percent would vote for Reid in such a match-up.
Complacency is the GOP’s worst enemy at this point, and Nevada is evidence of that.
Considering that a good number of Tea Party supporters are relatively new to politics, I’ve been more forgiving of some poor judgment the movement has demonstrated. For example, all but the most hard-core devotees now realize that Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell were disasters. Yet again and again, Tea Party favorites have shown themselves to be people who lack any seriousness or class. The list is big and constantly growing - Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann have proven to be embarrassments, and now another favorite, Allen West, has imploded.
In the case of Representative West, this implosion has come in the form of a nasty, childish email sent to fellow House member and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. In this tirade, West goes off on a rant against Wasserman Schultz, calling her “not a Lady” and describing her as “vile” and “despicable”. And this was in response to a relatively tame speech that Wasserman Schultz gave on the House floor, reiterating nothing more than standard Democrat talking points. The trigger, it seems, was that West was specifically mentioned. That apparently caused West to fly off the handle.
The whole display is, quite frankly, disgraceful. While I’m certainly aware that Congressmen routinely engage in overheated rhetoric, this is a personal attack that ought to be out of bounds for a Member of Congress. It is the sort of thing that would be roundly condemned by conservatives had it come from a Democrat to, say, Eric Cantor. And it simply must be condemned across the board if one is to maintain credibility. We’ve got to hold our Representatives to some standard of maturity and decency. And this type of response demonstrates a severe lack of judgment and restraint.
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has appointed Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV) to succeed Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), who resigned last week (effective May 3rd) rather than facing a potentially damaging ethics inquiry:
Sandoval announced Wednesday, triggering the state’s first ever House special election and altering the dynamic of an already active Senate race.
“Dean Heller currently represents 16 Nevada counties in their entirety and parts of Nevada’s most populous county, Clark County. Dean has served as a statewide Constitutional officer for 12 years, as a member of the Nevada Legislature, and is serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives,” Sandoval said in a statement. “He has quickly risen through the ranks within the United States House of Representatives.”
“I am deeply humbled and honored to be appointed to the Senate by Governor Sandoval. There is a lot of hard work ahead to get our state and nation moving in the right direction. Nevadans across our state have been struggling with job loss, high gas prices, and foreclosures,” said Heller. “There is no question that our nation needs to change the way we do business if we are going to get our economy back on track and get Nevadans working again.”
Ensign announced earlier this year that he would not run for re-election. Last week, facing pressure from a Senate Ethics Committee investigating his conduct in an affair with a married aide, Ensign said he would resign, effective May 3.
With Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV) annoucing his bid for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. John Ensign (R-NV). Sharron Angle, who ran a terrible campaign against an unpopular Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) in 2010, has announced her bid for Nevada’s Second Congressional District (Reno, Carson City):
Sharron Angle, the conservative firebrand who narrowly lost her bid to unseat Sen. Harry Reid last November, announced Wednesday she will now seek a congressional seat.
In an e-mail to supporters, the former Nevada State Assemblywoman said she plans to run for the 2nd Congressional District seat being vacated by current GOP Rep. Dean Heller. Heller, a two-term congressman, announced Tuesday he will run for the Senate seat scandal-plagued John Ensign is giving up.
“Harry Reid still rules the U.S. Senate, holding up government spending cuts and other legislation passed by the Republican majority in the House. Nancy Pelosi still organizes the Democrats, working her hardest to keep funding Planned Parenthood and NPR,” Angle wrote in her announcement e-mail. “Friend, the job still needs doing.”
Here is the video of her announcement:
Below is a collection of several links that we didn’t get around to writing about, but still wanted to post for readers to examine. The stories typically range from news about prominent figures in the liberty movement, national politics, the nanny state, foreign policy and free markets.
Ex-aide’s book paints harsh Palin portrait (Politico)
High Court Passes Up Ten Commandments Return (Fox News)
14 Trillion Reasons Military Spending Should not Be Sacrosanct (Bastiat Institute)
Harry Reid: “The time has come for us to outlaw prostitution” (Las Vegas Sun)
When It Comes To Dealing With Our Fiscal Problems, The Public Is Stupid (Outside the Beltway)
Can Obama “Pull a Clinton”? (The American Spectator)
The Neocons Couldn’t Wait to Bring Democracy to Iraq (Campaign For Liberty)
Sen. John Ensign trailed Rep. Dean Heller by 15 points in a hypothetical matchup of Nevada Republican Senate primary candidates, according to a survey conducted by Heller’s GOP pollster, the Tarrance Group.
In a poll conducted Jan. 18-20, Heller garnered the support of 53 percent of 601 likely Republican primary voters. Ensign received 38 percent, with only 9 percent undecided. The margin of error was 4.1 points.
According to the polling memo, Heller dominates among self-described “extremely conservative” voters with 62 percent, as well as among 50 percent of tea party supporters, “pro-life Republicans, Second Amendment Republicans and habitual Fox/talk radio Republicans.”
Heller also held a strong lead in Republican-leaning Washoe County, which includes Reno, garnering 70 percent of likely primary voters there, as well as 63 percent among those who live in conservative rural Nevada. Heller is based in Reno; Ensign is based in Las Vegas.
The search continues for a scapegoat for Saturday’s tragic shooting in Tucson. The latest target is free speech as Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) is proposing bringing back the Fairness Doctrine to censor talk radio:
U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in Congress, said Sunday the deadly shooting in Arizona should get the country thinking about what’s acceptable to say publicly and when people should keep their mouths shut.
Clyburn said he thinks vitriol in public discourse led to a 22-year-old suspect opening fire Saturday at an event Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords held for her constituents in Tucson, Ariz. Six people were killed and 14 others were injured, including Giffords.
The shooting is cause for the country to rethink parameters on free speech, Clyburn said from his office, just blocks from the South Carolina Statehouse. He wants standards put in place to guarantee balanced media coverage with a reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, in addition to calling on elected officials and media pundits to use ‘better judgment.’
‘Free speech is as free speech does,’ he said. ‘You cannot yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theater and call it free speech and some of what I hear, and is being called free speech, is worse than that.’
Clyburn is using the words of Sharron Angle - a former candidate for public office, not a talk show host - that there are “Second Amendment remedies” to restore lost liberty. Irresponsible? Perhaps, but it’s not illegal; nor should it be.
It seems the tension between the GOP establishment and the Tea Party movement has continued past last week’s elections. The AP is reporting that at least some elements of the GOP are blaming the Tea Party for preventing a take over of the Senate to go along with the bloodbath that took place in the House.
Republican leaders and strategists are muttering that the same Tea Party activists who elevated Speaker-to-be John Boehner and the party to power in the House simultaneously hobbled the GOP’s outside shot of running the Senate. Tea Partiers largely spurned establishment candidates in the GOP primaries and helped nominate Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, Sharron Angle in Nevada and Ken Buck in Colorado.
Here in lies the problem. You see, the “Republican leaders and strategists” are failing to grasp the idea that people aren’t going to vote for someone just because there’s a “R” beside their name. That’s not how it works anymore.
These three seats were never the Republican’s for the taking. They have to be earned. While the candidates in question may not have been the best possible, they were the will of the people. While the GOP strategists may be blaming the Tea Party movement for these candidates, I ask why these people won primaries if they were so horrid?
The truth is that the GOP establishment candidates didn’t resonate with the base, so the base chose someone else. That’s how primaries work and that’s what happened here. Did it backfire in three places? Yep, it did. And that’s just how it goes. Nothing is a sure thing, and since they can only point to three seats where it did backfire means that the Tea Party has had some major success.
Last night was truly a big night for Republicans. They are certain to take at least 60 seats in the House and six in the Senate (Colorado and Washington are still being counted, but look unlikely to be GOP pick-ups). Most of the bigger victories for the GOP in the House came from the East Coast, Midwest and the South.
Over in the Senate, Republicans failed to take advantage of vulnerable incumbents. Christine O’Donnell’s candidacy was a disaster from the start and Sharron Angle was a terrible candidate that couldn’t defeat an equally terrible candidate in Sen. Harry Reid.
Ken Buck was unable to take down Sen. Michael Bennet (though the GOP in that state seems to have some serious problems), who was nearly picked off in the Democratic primary. And Joe Miller appears likely to lose to Lisa Murkowski, who ran an effective write-in campaign.
Many are saying that the tea party movement was sucessful last night. While that’s true in some cases (such as Rand Paul and Pat Toomey), it’s not in others. The results for tea party candidates is mixed, at least on the Senate side.
We’ll have a more comprehensive write-up a bit later.
Join United Liberty as we live-blog election returns from across the country this evening. We’ll kickoff around 6:45pm and continue until at least midnight.