Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"Dewey Defeats Truman" => "Angle Defeats Reid"

If we're to believe all the Beltway chatter, Sharron Angle has surged into the lead, Harry Reid is pathetic, and Nevada is doomed.

Guess what? They're wrong! Let me explain...

Need I say more?

She is an embarrassment. She is ridiculous. She offers nothing but batsh*t crazy...

And she's winning? Not exactly. Jon Ralston, Nevada's top pundit, explained this morning what may actually be happening...

So what do we know so far? Not a lot. I have three days worth of data to peruse, just under a fourth of the 14-day total. Despite reports elsewhere, the Republicans have yet to show any unusual surge in voting, and The Reid Machine is holding its own.

So far, in the state’s two urban counties, the Republicans have less than a percentage point edge in turnout. If the Republican turnout edge by the end of early voting is 5 percent or so — standard for a midterm — the Democrats will be pretty happy, albeit edgy.

Reid needs a small GOP margin to survive. It comes down to something either candidate might say in an unguarded moment if asked by an innocent voter what the election is really all about:

It’s the turnout, stupid.

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That's why we had a bunch of students at the north lawn at UNLV yesterday. And guess who joined us!

Yet again, many of the DC pundits are getting it wrong. Contrary to what they've been suggesting, there's hardly any "enthusiasm gap". And I have a feeling that we'll see even less of one come this weekend.

I didn't even really see an "enthusiasm gap" last weekend.

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I walked my neighborhood last weekend, and here's what I found. ALL of the Democrats I talked to are voting for Harry Reid and Dina Titus, and all but two either already voted or will definitely be voting early this week. (The other two I may have to check on later this week.) All but one Nonpartisan (Independent) I talked with in my neighborhood last weekend are also supporting Reid and Titus. (The one who wouldn't just doesn't want to vote... Sad.) Oh, and I even found another Republican for Reid in my neighborhood!

Now I know my precinct doesn't tell the whole story, but let me explain this. It's typically one of the more pro-Republican areas of Henderson. It's no "liberal nirvana". And on a couple streets in the subdivision across the main street from my community, a few of the Republicans put up Angle signs. They may be revved up... But so are we.

And in fact, the other side may not be forming as strong of a "wave" as the Beltway pundits have been bloviating over for months now...

The Tea Party movement has gained the image of an unstoppable wave of anger sweeping everything before it as it seeks to overthrow the Washington establishment. Well in Elko, Nevada, last night it looked a little less than that.

About 150 people turned up in an open field on a very chilly night to welcome the Tea Party Express, the bus tour that is crossing America in the run-up to next month's midterm elections. Most of the participants were in their sixties or above, and the event had more in common with a sedate charity gala than a political revolution.

The low turnout and lack of energy was puzzling as it came just four hours' drive after a rousing start to the bus tour in Reno, addressed by Sarah Palin. I was lost for an explanation. This was after all the same state, the same battle to boot out Harry Reid, the local senator closely associated in Nevada with the big government spending habits of the Obama administration.

And that's what I've been finding on the ground here in Southern Nevada. Sure, teabaggers pop up here and there occasionally with their protests of everything "government" (except when they want it, go figure). But with the exception of all those thousands of people who drove in or bussed in from out of state for that "Showdown in Searchlight", I still haven't seen any massive "grassroots" outpouring of "tea party" support.

Instead, what I see and hear is concern about when more Nevadans will get back to work, concern about access to good education, concern about the family member(s) dangerously close to foreclosure... Basically, what I'm hearing from real Nevadans is real concern about how to get our state back on track.

And I'm hearing many points of view on what to do to get Nevada moving forward again. Some agree with Guy Farmer of Nevada Appeal...

I'm one of those disillusioned independent voters who supported President Obama two years ago. But, like Time magazine's Mark Halperin, I think “the White House is in over its head, insulated, insular (and) arrogant.” I also think Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) miscalculated by joining with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) to champion Obama's free-spending, Big Government agenda, which is why Reid is struggling to defeat his slightly kooky Tea Party opponent, Sharron Angle.

That said, I simply can't vote for Angle, who has espoused a series of extreme right-wing measures such as the privatization of Medicare, Social Security and the Veterans Administration, and she went way over the line by accusing Reid of voting to provide Viagra to child molesters. Please! So I'll be casting a reluctant vote for Reid, who delivers the pork (good pork, of course), and continues to block the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump, which most Nevadans oppose.

While others agree with Brian Greenspun of The Las Vegas Sun...

In a state that has been devastated during this economic meltdown, the things we need more than anything else are jobs and the promise of more jobs. We don’t need people to talk about them, we need people to do something about them. This week, thousands of new jobs from renewable energy firms were announced. Some will come almost immediately, some will come in a few months. All of them are the direct result of the efforts of the majority leader of the U.S. Senate, Harry Reid.

We have learned a valuable lesson in this state in the past two years and that is we can no longer rely on gaming and construction industries to secure our futures. They both depend on the discretionary income of others who are willing to come to Nevada. When those incomes disappeared and discretionary dollars became necessary dollars for mortgages and car payments, those people stayed home. Nevada will suffer until people feel secure enough to come back and enjoy all that Nevada has to offer. We have learned that we cannot allow ourselves to be dependent upon the good will and good cheer of others ever again. We need a better plan!

That is why we must have good, high-paying jobs in other industries, and there is no better 21st-century industry than renewable energy. The world needs what we can produce in Nevada, which has been dubbed the Saudi Arabia of solar energy. That means we have plenty of sun — an unlimited supply — and we can become the energy producer for the rest of the country if we do this right.

That will take everybody working together, especially the right person in the majority leader’s chair — someone who both gives a darn about Nevada and believes his job is to help bring jobs to his home state. One thing we did learn from the debate is that Angle will not lift a finger to help and that Reid will do and has done everything possible to secure our futures in this state. Of course, most of us knew that before the debate. Now everyone knows that if it is jobs for Nevada that we want, only one candidate believes it is his job to make them happen.

But without a doubt, most of the people I've spoken with here agree that our only chance of moving forward is with Harry Reid as our Senate Majority Leader. And I know I'm not alone. That's what the Beltway pundits are missing. This isn't a game to us. We're dealing with our very lives here, and we can't afford the insane and dangerous extremism of Sharron Angle.

I want to be able to finish school at UNLV and get a good job. My unemployed friends depended on unemployment insurance, and need good jobs soon. My friend who came close to foreclosure needed someone to help him negotiate with the bank to keep his home. My parents depend on Social Security to survive. And guess who's been helping us?

Again, this isn't a game to us. And I think this is what's closing "the enthusiasm gap". And at the end of the day, I think a whole lot of folks will be surprised by the final election results.

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