(Chuck Muth) – Donald Trump took some time out yesterday to do a campaign rally in Las Vegas before attending last night’s UFC fight. And anyone who doubts the official GOP organs in Nevada are in the bag for the former president is blind.
A report in the Messenger yesterday noted that the Trump campaign had hired a state director for Nevada. Shockingly (not), it’s the Nevada Republican Party’s current executive director, Alida Benson.
In the article, Nevada GOP chief Mike McDonald gushed…
“Nevada is definitely Trump’s strongest state of all four (early voting states). When Trump came on the scene in 2016, it was a movement. I’ve never seen anything like it. And it’s never slowed down. The grassroots movement is still here. You still see Trump flags. The movement didn’t die. It’s gotten stronger.”
Yeah, totally neutral.
That was followed up by a tweet from the Nevada GOP lauding Trump’s campaign appearance in Las Vegas yesterday…
“The race to 2024 has officially started with our first Presidential campaign stop in Las Vegas!”
I double-checked their Twitter feed. And guess what? No mention whatsoever of the ACTUAL first presidential campaign appearance in Nevada. That would be Ron DeSantis’ speech at the Basque Fry in Gardnerville three weeks ago.
In the Messenger report, Clark County GOP boss Jesse Law – who expressed his undying “love” for Trump during a podcast on Friday – declared…
“The membership of the Republican organizations – Clark, Washoe County, the state – is pro-Trump because Trump’s already demonstrated his leadership.”
Bruce Parks, Washoe County GOP chair, seconded that emotion…
“(Alida) knows who all the folks are: who’s all talk, who’s productive. She’ll navigate those landmines for Trump better than any hire because she has done it for a while.”
Nevada Republican National Committeeman Jim DeGraffenreid added…
“Trump won the caucuses in 2016, and he certainly has to feel like he’s in a good position here.”
Yeah, when you own the party apparatus, that’s certainly a good place to be. But it’s not where it’s supposed to be.
If the party’s Central Committee had formally endorsed Trump, that’d be one thing. Then all bets would be off. But it hasn’t. This is a handful of party leaders wedded to Trump who are tipping the scales for one candidate over all the others.
But make no mistake, while Trump’s support in Nevada is strong, it’s not universal. In the Messenger report, State Assemblywoman Jill Dickman said…
“Nevada Republicans are tired of losing to the Radical Left and Republicans who make promises but don’t deliver. We know Gov. Ron DeSantis is the only conservative who can beat Joe Biden and take back the White House while helping Republicans down-ballot take back our state.”
Which bring us to Trump’s rally yesterday afternoon…
It was held in a church. News reports indicate there were 500 people inside and another 400 outside – compared to the 2,500+ who attended DeSantis’ appearance in Gardnerville at the Basque Fry three weeks ago.
So both candidates enjoy significant support in Nevada – though Trump clearly has the advantage at this time.
His speech was boilerplate Trump delivered as only Trump can deliver it. But I thought it interesting how badly he butchered the pronunciation of “Yucca Mountain.” He called it “yew-kah” instead of “yuck-ahh.”
Apparently, his advance team at the Nevada GOP didn’t brief him very well.
And in attacking DeSantis for past support for Yucca as the nation’s designated nuclear waste storage facility, Trump neglected to mention that he, too, was for it before he was against it.
That aside, it’s interesting that his advisers think this is a big issue here when, in fact, it’s not. The Yucca controversy is only perpetuated by anti-Yucca propagandists in the media and pander-bear politicians. It’s not even on the radar screens of most Nevadans.
Trump also continued to claim the election was stolen from him in 2020 despite there being no proof of said claim – and no, unsubstantiated allegations are not proof.
“If we stop the cheating, we are going to win,” he said.
Such claims hurt Republicans here, especially with independents. Just look at the candidates who ran on that issue last year and went down in flames – especially Secretary of State candidate Jim Marchant and Attorney General candidate Sigal Chattah.
Nevertheless, Trump’s speech was, as always, entertaining.
Bottom line is this…
Trump is running the same campaign with the same messaging with the same people who lost Nevada for him in 2020.
He’s still got a big lead in the GOP primary over the rest of the field here, but there’s still six long months to go before the election.
Yes, DeSantis is behind in early polling in the GOP primary. Then again, so was Joe Biden in 2020. And we all know how THAT turned out. So remember the wisdom of Yogi Berra…
It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.
7 Worst Habits of Highly Unelectable People
- 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
“Nevada has been friendly territory for the former president, who dominated the 2016 Republican presidential caucus en route to locking up the nomination and has retained the loyalty of the state party apparatus. That includes Chairman Michael McDonald…” – Nevada Independent, 7/8/23
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.