(Chuck Muth) – Donald Trump’s endorsement of Joe Lombardo in Nevada’s GOP gubernatorial primary doesn’t mean the fat lady has sung; however, it does mean she’s clearing her throat.
While many were surprised by the endorsement, it’s wasn’t exactly unexpected if you’re following the political calculations. This is all about winning in November.
Lombardo isn’t the most conservative candidate in the race. Indeed, he’s the only viable candidate who hasn’t yet signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. However, he checks off most of the other campaign boxes.
He is, and has been for a long time, the front-runner. And as “casual” voters start tuning in to the election with 30 days to go before early voting begins, there’s a natural tendency for such voters to gravitate towards the perceived likely winner.
He’s crushed the field in fundraising. Yes, Guy Nohra, John Lee and Fred Simon have loaned their campaigns sizable amounts of cash to fund their campaign close-outs; however, that’s not the same as showing a groundswell of widespread financial support among the populace.
Lending money to your campaign simply isn’t the same as raising money for your campaign. And you can bet that factor weighed heavily in Trump’s endorsement decision.
And Lombardo has an experienced, competent campaign team in place. Opponents have been frustrated with the Clark County sheriff’s campaign strategy – including limited participation in debates – but it’s worked.
The fact is, Nevada Democrat Gov. Steve Sisolak is extremely vulnerable to being ousted in November. And Trump lost Nevada in 2020 with Sisolak sitting in the governor’s chair. If he decides to seek the White House in 2024, it’s in Trump’s best interest to have a Republican in that seat for our “swing” state.
And Team Sisolak knows it. They went into full melt-down panic mode over the endorsement, referring to Lombardo as a “far-right extremist.”
Joe may be a lot of things, but far-right extremist ain’t one of them. And with Trump’s endorsement, he now has Big Mo’ going into the final stretch and has pulled even further ahead of the field.
Lee has been the most aggressive in attacking Lombardo on the air recently, but hasn’t gained any traction. His election-season conversion from Democrat to Republican still raises considerable suspicion among GOP grassroots voters.
Gilbert continues to enjoy passionate support from many of those same grassroots voters, but doesn’t have the money needed to gain critical mass in these closing days. You simply won’t reach the large number of undecided voters in the home stretch with door-knocking and rallies.
Nohra has the money but hasn’t caught fire. The silver lining is that he’s still an unknown to a wide swath of voters. So at this point he would seem to have the greatest potential for winning converts…though the clock is ticking. Time is his biggest enemy.
He’s gonna have to throw a “Hail Mary” to pull off an upset.
With Trump’s endorsement of Lombardo, longshots Dean Heller and Fred Simon should see the writing on the wall. If they are truly conservative and truly believe Lombardo is the second-coming of RINO ex-guv Brian Sandoval, they should drop out of the race and back one of the three remaining viable non-Lombardo candidates.
Remember, that’s what the Democrat presidential candidates did in 2020 – dropping out and getting behind Joe Biden – in order to block the nomination of Bernie Sanders. But don’t expect these GOP candidates for guv to play team ball like that.
My updated odds…
- Joe Lombardo: 3-2
- Guy Nohra 20-1
- Joey Gilbert: 25-1
- John Lee: 30-1
- Dean Heller: 500-1
- Fred Simon: 1,000-1
(Disclaimer: Odds are published for entertainment purposes only. No wagering allowed – except for illegal side bets among friends or political adversaries.)
The Smell of Fear
“Yesterday, our team emailed you to break the news that our far-right opponents launched terrible new ads and have MILLIONS to spread them across Nevada. I thought we’d see a surge of support to help us fight back, but the truth is… no one is donating!” – Eva Black, Finance Director, Sisolak for Governor, 4/27/22
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
“Resources, beds. The governor (Steve Sisolak) could make that a priority (for addressing homelessness). He’s said his priority is health, but he’s talking about bullshit things like (a health insurance) public option.”- Republican gubernatorial candidate Joe Lombardo
Save a Life Gala
For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit: savealifeclub.com/auction or call (702) 366-1247.
Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, publisher of Nevada News & Views and blogs at MuthsTruths.com