We've talked plenty before about the fiercely competitive race to control the upper house of the Nevada Legislature. And perhaps of all the hot #NVLeg races not in Washoe County, the race in Senate District 5 will very much come down to what happens in the field.
Last Saturday, Joyce Woodhouse (the Democratic nominee in SD 5) did another precinct walk. However, this was not just any precinct walk. Twenty-five Henderson firefighters joined Woodhouse to walk about a dozen precincts in SD 5 in Henderson.
Between recent "tea party" fueled attacks on firefighters (along with many other public servants) and State Senate G-O-TEA Leader Michael Roberson (R-Henderson; he himself narrowly defeated Woodhouse 51-48 in the old and slightly more GOP friendly SD 5 in 2010) announcing plans to attack workers' rights next year if he becomes Majority Leader, it looked like these Henderson firefighters were stirred into action. And they were ready to fight back. Although Roberson himself won't be up for reelection until 2014 (in the new SD 20 formed from the southern portion of the old, "super sized" SD 5), (the compacted Silverado Ranch to Green Valley north of I-215 to Old Henderson) SD 5 presents a key opportunity. Not only can they avenge Roberson's narrow of defeat of Woodhouse, but they may very well prevent Roberson from becoming Majority Leader by propelling Woodhouse back to Carson City.
Obviously, Nevada workers see a whole lot at stake in SD 5. That's why they took to the streets. And really, there's no better way for them to score a win here than to work the field.
After all, field matters. Democrats have already been working the field at the top of the ticket, but they haven't been alone. In fact, Joyce Woodhouse walks herself almost every day. And as she's been talking to voters throughout the district, she's been engaging in the kind of valuable face to face voter contact that just can't be replicated or imitated by any billboard, mail piece, or TV commercial.
So far, voters have been expressing their concern with the state of our schools, as well as what's happening with the overall economy. A few voters have even mentioned their frustration with the state's unfair tax code. And again, these conversations are so valuable because they allow for the kind of dialogue and interaction that one can not reach with TV ads or roadside signs. And believe it or not, many voters actually appreciate this dialogue (and prefer this to generic TV and mail ads).
Occasionally, I've seen flyers for Steve Kirk, Woodhouse's Republican opponent. They look quite generic, basically proclaiming him as "Generic Conservative Republican". While he clearly has some people out canvassing, it's unclear as to what kind of impression he's making on voters. While he's spent plenty of money on those flyers, as well as roadside signs and mail pieces, he hasn't really spent time engaging in any dialogue with local voters. If this continues, both he and Michael Roberson won't like the results in November.