Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Harry Reid’s Re-Election Salvation: Emulate John Corzine?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: You are the biggest-name incumbent Democrat in the state, elected in the last race for the seat by a comfortable double-digit margin. You see your job-approval ratings fall to the floor in the wake of complete Democrat takeover of the federal government. You begin to trail in head-to-head polling more than 8 months before November by anywhere from 8-15 points when matched up against a potential candidate who has never been elected state-wide before. You are convinced that the millions of $$ you have banked, much of it to be used on negative advertising against the still-largely unknown Republican opponent, will make the difference in the fall. You continue to hitch your wagon to the young, Hope-and- Change new President who had handily won your state by a comfortable margin (which seems just like yesterday). You even warmly embrace the increasingly unpopular President at fund-raising and re-election events for your sputtering campaign. No help to the re-election chances. So what’s the hail-Mary pass you hope carries you over the finish line come November? If you answered a 3rd party challenger that’s really a front for the Democrat Party, nice work.

Though the strategy wasn’t ultimately successful in victory, New Jersey Governor John Corzine cut a once insurmountable deficit in polling down to a true tossup by Election Day with the help of an “independent” to siphon votes from the Republican candidate, or more like, siphon from the “Anybody but Corzine” candidate.

Using his campaign’s website as a basis, the Independent candidate, Chris Daggett, is a liberal on energy & environmental issues. His running mate admittedly voted for Barrack Obama. And according to National Review Online, Democrats were funding robocalls on Daggett’s behalf.

A similar situation is developing in Nevada, where embattled incumbent Senate Majority leader Harry Reid is mired in the 30s job approval. He trails head-to-head against either Sue Lowden or Danny Tarkanian by between high single-digits to mid-teens. He has a $20M war chest to define his yet-to-be-decided GOP challenger coming out of a June primary. He not only hasn’t abandoned carrying water for the increasingly unpopular Democratic administration, but he welcomed his help at a campaign event in Las Vegas last week. And now a 3rd party candidate, for the recently formed Tea Party, has qualified for the Nevada ballot.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

“He's a Las Vegas businessman who owns an asphalt company and has real estate holdings. And he's a political newcomer.

Other than that, Scott Ashjian, the rumored U.S. Senate candidate for the newly formed Tea Party of Nevada, remains something of a mystery. Ashjian is expected to file March 1 to run against U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Republican challenger in the November general election. But Ashjian has remained quiet about his campaign, giving cryptic e-mail interviews and hardly returning phone calls.

Barry Levinson, a lawyer, registered Democrat and secretary of the Tea Party of Nevada, said he "represents the candidate" and wants to help his longtime friend get elected…

National tea party organizations are distancing themselves from the local U.S. Senate campaign using the 'tea party' banner.”

(Emphasis mine)

Even a blind man can see he’s hoping Nevada voters will confuse the Tea Party with the assembled masses of conservative & libertarian-leaning “mad as hell” events that formed by groups of hundreds and thousands in 2009 and now have undeniable political momentum.

Could this be, in the words of Yogi Berra, “déjà vu all over again?”

Harry Reid is hoping the situation, like the one in New Jersey, can give the embattled incumbent a puncher’s chance, and hopefully for him a different ending outcome, by November.

- Arizona Diamondback

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