A blog on progressive news and politics on both the California and Nevada sides of Lake Tahoe which aims at helping to elect Democrats and Turn Tahoe Blue. The blog is written from Germany by a former German exchange student at George Whittell High School in Zephyr Cove, Nevada.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Congressional Quarterly Rates NV-02 "Leans Republican"

We all know that not too many truths are being told in campaign ads, especially in the Republican kind. Sharron Angle, for one, claimed she was the "conservative you can count on". Well, apparently not, as Ms. Angle has just gotten behind the candidacy of Dean Heller, even though she somehow forgot to call him...

That doesn't really seem to matter, though. It seems like the Beltway bubble has taken note. Congressional Quarterly has taken a closer look and comes up with quite a reasonable assessment:

The district has a strong conservative lean, and Gibbons dominated his House elections. But his decision to run for governor — he won the Republican nomination Aug. 15 in a three-way primary and will face Democrat Dina Titus, the state Senate minority leader — in a year when the national political atmosphere appears mainly negative for the Republican Party has put this seat in play.

Heller endured a bruising and expensive primary campaign, in which Angle in particular questioned his devotion to fiscal conservatism, and a prolonged aftermath in which Angle questioned the legitimacy of his victory. Derby, on the other hand, did not have an opponent in the Aug. 15 Democratic primary.

The contrast is reflected in the cash reserves reported by each candidate in their pre-primary filings with the Federal Election Commission. Derby had $444,000 left on hand as of July 26 out of $748,000 raised. Heller had just $260,000 left — and that was with 20 days left to go before the actual primary — out of $904,000 in total receipts, which included $108,000 in funds from his personal accounts.

I think I also pointed this out in an earlier post. So, post Labor Day, it seems fair to assume that Heller is not only badly bruised but also virtually broke while Derby should have about half a million bucks in the bank. Wow!

Therefore it's quite understanding that Congressional Quarterly rates this race "leans Republican" - which is just one step away from "no clear favourite" but two steps from "safe Republican". In an ordinary year this race would probably be categorized as a safe Republican seat. I mean Bush won this district with 57% of the vote. That it's not tells you a lot about Jill Derby and the state of the Republican Party and its candidates.

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