(Chuck Muth) – A few weeks ago, former Nevada GOP gubernatorial candidate Guy Nohra took me to a presentation by Nevada Wins PAC which included a deep analysis of the 2022 election results that weren’t exactly stellar for Nevada Republicans.
Despite predictions of a giant red wave that was going to sweep GOP candidates into office up and down the ballot, Nevada Republicans lost the U.S. Senate race, all three Democrat-controlled House races, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, and ended up in a super-minority in the state Assembly.
Reporter Mark Robison of the Reno Gazette-Journal sat down for an interview with Phil Becker, an experienced data analyst for Nevada Wins PAC. And here’s some of what he found…
Frist, 39,220 more Republicans voted in the 2022 general election than Democrats. And GOP party leaders are clapping themselves on the back for it.
However, there were still some 175,000 active registered Republicans who stayed home and didn’t vote. So even though Republicans turned out marginally better than the D’s, it still wasn’t good enough and a major failing of the GOP.
Indeed, Adam Laxalt only lost the U.S. Senate race by fewer than 8,000 votes.
So what about the fact that Republican candidates won the statewide governor, lieutenant governor and controller races while losing secretary of state, attorney general and treasurer?
“Republicans who won did so by establishing name recognition and not scaring the independent vote away,” explained Becker. “It’s a combination of candidate and messaging.”
“When we talk about candidate quality,” Becker continued, “what we don’t need are candidates saying stupid stuff that repels independents.”
As for saying “stupid stuff,” Robison notes that GOP secretary of state candidate Jim Marchant – who lost by over 23,000 votes – went “so far as to say all Nevada elected officials since 2006 have been ‘installed by the deep-state cabal.’”
Yeah, Republicans. That’s great messaging. Really resonates with indies. And now this guy is running again next year for U.S. Senate? You can’t fix stupid.
And then there was GOP attorney general candidate Sigal Chattah. You could write a “War and Peace”-length book on all the stupid stuff she said. Not surprisingly, Robison reports that Chattah “performed the worst among independent voters.”
How bad? She lost overall by over 77,000 votes!
Compare that to Chattah’s “Moby Dick” nemesis, Joe Lombardo, who won his governor’s race, with the exact same electorate, by over 15,000 votes.
“Her loss,” Robison reports, “was such an outlier that Becker removed the race from his analysis because he didn’t view it as reflecting how Nevadans generally want to vote.”
So naturally, the Nevada Republican Party made her their National Committeewoman back in January. You can’t fix stupid.
The bottom line, Robison notes, is that “Republicans could have won any or all of the (races) they lost” – other than Chattah’s – “if they’d had a candidate with broader appeal.”
“The voters of the state (overall) want to vote for Republicans,” Becker concluded in assessing GOP chances in 2024. “We’d like to minimize having a candidate win a primary that we know can’t possibly win a general election because they’re a terrible candidate.”
That’s especially true of Marchant. Consider…
He couldn’t hold his small state assembly seat in a swing district in 2018. So naturally he thought he could win a congressional seat in a big Democrat district in 2020. He didn’t. So he decided that running statewide for secretary of state was his ticket to the adult table in 2022. It wasn’t.
And now some think he’s the best choice in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate next year? Get thee into a straight-jacket and padded room.
Fortunately, a sane candidate who doesn’t scare the beejeepers out of independents is jumping into that race today: Sam Brown.
Sam ran for the U.S. Senate last year and reportedly raised over $4 million. He came in second in the GOP primary, but immediately endorsed Laxalt, the nominee, and actively campaigned for him. Good party soldier.
Brown also has the backing of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and a number of other third-party organizations that spend a lot of money on senatorial races.
If Marchant is running in the best interest of Nevadans and Republicans – rather than to feed his own ego – he’ll now drop out instead of forcing Brown to expend money in the primary that otherwise could be used to beat the Democrat in the general.
But he won’t. His consultants won’t let him. They’re not about to let their “meal ticket” do the right thing. And the beat goes on…
7 Worst Habits of Highly Unelectable People (Like Jim Marchant)
- Picking the wrong race
- Picking the wrong district
- Picking the wrong issues
- Picking the wrong time
- Picking the wrong consultants
- Picking unnecessary fights with the media
- Picking door-knocking over fundraising
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
“I think I won the last time. I think I won both times by a lot. This is a state that is disgraceful.” – Donald Trump, in exclusive interview with Megan Barth of the Nevada Globe, when asked about losing Nevada twice in presidential races
Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, publisher of Nevada News & Views, and founder of CampaignDoctor.com. You can sign up for his conservative, Nevada-focused e-newsletter at MuthsTruths.com. His views are his own.