But then, something funny happened on the way to Dean Heller's "coronation". Just as Brian Sandoval tried to essentially hand him our US Senate seat, they both got a loud reality check in April. Remember when we first talked about it?
Sandoval really thought this blatant snubbing of Nevadans would be glossed over as just another instance of "politics as usual". However, so far it looks like we the people want to take a closer look and ask why Dean Heller deserves a "head start" in next year's Senate election, and why we the people should be forced to pay for a special election to replace Heller exactly when Sandoval wants to slash public education to death, force elderly & disabled Nevadans onto the streets, and endanger Nevada's fragile economic recovery.
What, are Carson City political games more important than the lives of real Nevadans? Is this what Brian Sandoval meant by "shared sacrifice"? And is this just another instance of Dean Heller practicing something far different from what he preaches? Is it more important to cheat against Shelley Berkley than to actually focus on what their respective jobs are supposed to be?
When PPP and Mellman first showed a tightening Senate race, the pundits were shocked. But now that it's still tight (PPP's last poll showed a tie race), they expect another barnburner of a Senate race in the coming year. Whoops.
But wait, what about Mark Amodei? Yes, what about him. He went from facing a potentially scary upset (for him) to an easy win. And yes, both his political resiliency and Kate Marshall's shocking crashing & burning of her own campaign forced a nasty "gut check moment" for Democrats in Tonopah this past September.
As I wrote then...
Of course, last night's special election results weren't good for Obama or Congressional Democrats, but on the other hand many in DC are forgetting the local dynamics of both races. Here in Nevada, Kate Marshall positioned herself to essentially run against Obama, which demoralized the Democratic base and caused the entire election to be played on the Nevada GOP's turf. And in New York, Orthodox Jews and older white "Reagan Democrats" turned hard Republicans made that election into a referendum on Israel, social issues, and internal Brooklyn & Queens political drama. And while special elections tend to produce dramatic results as of late, they rarely provide a clear forecast of the political climate of the following election cycle.
What will be far more telling in the coming weeks and months, however, is what happens to the economy next, how politicians and political parties react to the state of the economy, and how voters respond to the politicians' reactions.
And that's when the tide turned yet again.
In August, the G-O-TEA seemed to be flying high again after "The Great Debt Ceiling Debacle of 2011". Democrats again seemed demoralized (see above note on Kate Marshall's campaign), the "tea party" looked to take control of the narrative, and we all just needed to shut up and embrace our "bright future" ahead with Mitt Romney. But then (again), something funny happened on the way to Romney's "coronation" and the Nevada GOP's "reascendancy". He told us to "drop dead", but it was really only the local G-O-TEA outlet that followed through. Ralston couldn't contain himself as he saw them turn to slow-motion implosion, but I wasn't too surprised, as I saw for myself the dreaded "Obama-Reid Machine" rise again while the G-O-TEA were arguing over how irrelevant their caucus was to be.
As we discussed back in late October when the Nevada GOP sealed the deal on the "Great RNC-New Hampshire Cave-in of 2011":
Too late, Mrs. Tark Shark. It's already been a huge debacle, an unnecessary distraction, and a way for New Hampshire politicians to use our state as their personal pinata. Maybe you avoided getting deposed as Nevada GOP Chair, but you've already lost as your party has just become the national laughingstock. [...]
While OFA and Nevada Democrats are busy being... Well, productive, in registering voters and calling to recruit more volunteers, Nevada Republicans were too busy chickening out to New Hampshire teabaggers and sacrificing our state's dignity to pay for Florida's original sin [in moving their primary to January 31, triggering the chaos that led to the RNC forcing the Nevada GOP to push back their caucus to February 4 so New Hampshire can do their primary exactly when they want it]. So there you have it. This may very well be the moment that clinches Nevada, and perhaps the overall 2012 election, for President Obama next year.
What? You think I'm crazy? I think everyone needs to review what happened in last year's Senate election. Welcome to deja vu. The spirit of Sharrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrron lives on in the Nevada Republican Party. [...]
Funny enough, the usual "Sharrontology Fan Club" TEA-nut conspiracy theorists were trying to claim, "Big Bad Harry Reid HIJACKED!!!!!" their pointless central committee meeting, but that's just crazy talk. Neither he nor Obama needed to. Nevada Republicans are doing a great job losing the upcoming election all by themselves!
And here's where it all comes full circle. Just as they blew it last year in picking the ultimate extremist to lose to Harry Reid and muck up their own message in the process, the Nevada GOP are set to lose more elections all on their own all over again. They threw a hissy fit over the nonpartisan judicial redistricting results that they supposedly wanted. They focused on stupid "CUL'CHUR WARZZZ!!!" crap when people were asking for jobs. Dean Heller and Joe Heck were too busy catering to "Tea Party, Inc." and nutty extremists to notice their constituents protesting outside their local offices.
And as all of this was happening all around them, Nevada GOP "leaders" couldn't realize the turmoil at their own doorstep because they were too busy believing Barbara Cegavske's delusions of grandeur! Hey, how else can we explain what they did this year? They rose so high, only to fall so fast.
Sorry, Nevada GOP. Apparently Democrats won't be so easy to beat after all.
Two new major national polls show President Obama’s approval ratings making solid improvement, and putting him close to the 50% threshold that is seen as key for an incumbent seeking reelection. In addition, the polls suggest that Obama could be doing better than the Congressional Republicans in their ongoing political fights. [...]
The CNN poll had only a simple version of [a question on the economy and how Obama can handle it], with a very good result for Obama: “Do you have more confidence in President Obama or in the Republicans in Congress to deal with the major issues facing the country today?”
The numbers: Obama 50%, Republicans 31%.