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Nevada Primary Scorecard

Contested races for governor and Congress yesterday in Nevada played out as expected with Rep. Jim Gibbons (R) and state Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus (D) winning their party primaries for governor.

Gibbons, who has been considered a heavy favorite throughout the contest, won 48 percent of the vote to 29 percent for state Sen. Bob Beers and 18 percent for Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt. Titus defeated Henderson Mayor Jim Gibson 53 percent to 36 percent to claim the Democratic nomination in a race that was not as close in the end as many party observers expected.

If polling is to be believed, Gibbons starts the general election with an edge over Titus. A Mason-Dixon poll conducted prior to the primary showed Gibbons ahead 46 percent to 35 percent in a hypothetical general election. The storyline of this race is simple. Gibbons will paint Titus as an out-of step Las Vegas liberal; Titus will work to use Gibbons service in Washington as an anchor around his neck.

In the other closely watched race, Secretary of State Dean Heller appeared to edge out Assemblywoman Sharron Angle in the Republican primary for Gibbons' soon-to-be vacant 2nd district seat. Heller took 24,781 votes (35.14%) to Angle's 24,353 (34.53%) -- a 428-vote margin that could be subject to a recount. Gibbons' wife -- Dawn -- placed third with 25 percent. Assuming Heller remains the nominee he will face University of Nevada Regent Jill Derby (D) in the fall.

None of the other federal contests were competitive. Tessa Hafen, a former staffer for Nevada Sen. Harry Reid (D), easily won the Democratic nomination in the 3rd district and will take on Rep. Jon Porter (R) in November. Jack Carter, the son of former president Jimmy Carter, cruised to a victory in the Democratic Senate primary. Sen. John Ensign (R) remains a strong favorite in the fall.

Next Tuesday brings us the Alaska primary where Gov. Frank Murkowksi (R) is in real danger of losing his party's nomination. Stay tuned.

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 16, 2006; 10:40 AM ET
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Next: Parsing the Polls: Is a Democratic Wave Building?


polls, schmolls. Polling is a science of statistics and very controllable results can be gotten depending on an array of factors such as demographics: WHERE you ask youre' questions, HOW you ask the question, IN WHAT ORDER you ask your question and so forth. The liberal mainstream press has gotten away with thier bogus polling reports for far too long. They create a false sense of what "America" thinks and then blather those lies across the news media in endless repetition in hopes that the voting public will be swayed towards the Democrat ticket come election day. It is very similar to the tactics used by Hizbollah in claiming victory on thier latest defeat by the far superior Israeli forces in Lebannon. Like Hitler said: tell the lie long enough and often enough and the masses will eventually accept it as truth. We will see in november that the TRUE poll is revealed in the voting booth. The Dems need every lie you can give them.

Posted by: john | August 17, 2006 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Wow, only 10 comments in here. Does that mean most people are not concerned about Nevada, governorwise or any member of Congress? For all the yapping about the power of Dems in 2006, I sure would think more liberal thinkers would be jumping up and down to cheer for the Lady Dem for governor and Carter's kid to challenge Ensign for the Senate.

This means to me that the Republican business owners and investors will likely win in Nevada this November. The economy is buzzing, more Republicans are moving to the stand as well.

Posted by: Tina | August 16, 2006 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Difficult for any son or daughter to enter politics at this level of Congress. (And Bush was governor before he ran for president against 9 other candidates.)

Bobby Kennedy won his Senate seat in NY based on the mood of the nation after the death of his brother. Ted Kennedy likewise was able to win support on his family name in a strong Dem state.

It is more likely for wives of deceased husbands to win Congress seats since these women worked side by side with campaigns and often in the office as well. So the people see them as a "legacy" inside of handing seats to their kids.

Gibbons and Titus will be a good race to watch. But Boy Carter might be a weak Dem in the shadow of his father.

Jeb and George W. had to run for office and lose a race before they finally got elected. Neither of them won on their first shot either. Just to keep the facts straight.

Posted by: Tom | August 16, 2006 3:41 PM | Report abuse

RE: Sen. John Ensign (R) remains a strong favorite in the fall.


Latest poll shows a tightening of the race:

July 31
Carter (D) 39%
Ensign (R)* 46%

Posted by: RMill | August 16, 2006 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Poll Watch


Actual Results
Dem Primary
Gibson 35%
McConnell 4%
Titus 53%

Margin 18% pts

Rep Primary
Beers 29%
Gibbons 48%
Hunt 18%

Margin 19% pts

Survey USA (error rate +/-4%)
August 14
Gibson 33%
McConnell 3%
Titus 57%

Margin 24 pts

Called race= 1 pt
Missed margin= 0
Within margin for all three candidate totals= 3 pts
TOTAL = 4 pts

Beers 25%
Gibbons 47%
Hunt 17%

Margin 22% pts
Called race correctly= 1 pt
Called margin with error rate= 1 pt
Called all three candidate total within error rate= 3 pts
TOTAL= 5 pts

Mason Dixon
August 11
Gibson 31%
McConnell n/a
Titus 41%

Margin 10% pts

Called race correctly= 1 pt
Missed margin= 0
Called Gibson total within error rate= 1 pt

TOTAL= 2 pts

Beers 31%
Gibbons 41%
Hunt 15%

Margin 10% pts

Called race correctly= 1 pt
Missed margin
Called two of three candidates totals within error rate= 2 pts

TOTAL= 3 pts

Posted by: RMill | August 16, 2006 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Drindl, I think you mean Gibbons, not Gibson. A good example of why it was probably better that Titus won that primary - otherwise we'd have been looking at Gibbons v. Gibson.

Posted by: NV Native | August 16, 2006 12:36 PM | Report abuse

"Heller took 24,781 votes (35.14%) to Angle's 24,353 (34.53%) -- a 428-vote margin that could be subject to a recount."

Why bother? It seems to me that the voters in this primary only represent a small fraction of the total Nevada electorate. Angle should simply declare for the general as an independent! This was only Round One of the battle, now it's time for the entire state to decide. Sharron Angle -- Independent Republican for Congress!

(See what elections would be like if everyone behaved like Sore Loserman?)

Posted by: Venicemenace | August 16, 2006 12:20 PM | Report abuse

First of all, the idea to create a movie about a United State President who couldn't keep his hands to himself was put into a script long long before "Wag the Dog" was a completed film. (You can check the Hollywood Director interviews to verify it)

Next, I want to look at the so-called "glass ceiling" in Nevada. Dina Titus might make it along with other women who have been elected as governors of their states. Lt Gov. Lorraine Hunt was judged by the Republican voters as "not up to the job", pure and simple.

Hunt was a full partner in state government for the past years as Lt. Gov. which has usually been the successful grooming post for other women. Think Minner of Delaware, Jodi of Connecticut, along with Montana and Utah and Arizona's Jane Hull in years past. These women were able to do the job as top executive and some like Minner have been elected and elected and elected.

Lorraine Hunt started badmouthing "the good ol' boy club" back in July (I was in Las Vegas at the time and read her interview with disappointment in her comments). That tone by Hunt was like fingernails on a blackboard, and no one likes a "whining woman" blaming her lack of support on "those guys". Once any campaign gets lowered into the boys vs the girls debate, the woman will lose the race. There a thousands of men in the Republican party who see women as full partners and able to do the job, but if Lorraine fails to be seen as "tough enough", that is why she lost. Gibbons was better organized, had a stronger message, and was seen as the best candidate to win as governor. No conspiracy against Lorraine and she did a good job as Lt. Gov.

Now the key will be if Lorraine will stand up like a lady and work to help Gibbons get elected or whether she will hold a grudge. If she wants to have a future in politics in the state, she better get on board Team Gibbons, and help him win in November.

Posted by: Tina | August 16, 2006 12:12 PM | Report abuse

'Anti-incumbent lesson is the one to draw from Lieberman and Schwarz, not anti-moderate'

Absolutely. 'Anti-moderate' is the republican spin. Anti-incument and anti-bush is the real story.

Posted by: Drindl | August 16, 2006 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Some Gibson gems:

"Tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, hippie, tie-dyed liberals [in Hollywood should]... go make their movies and their music and whine somewhere else.... It's just too damn bad we didn't buy them a ticket [to become human shields in Iraq]." [4]

"Anybody who is against that (corporate-funded celebrations) obviously must be a communist."[5]

"Look at the movie 'Wag the Dog, I think this (Monica Lewinsky Scandal) has all the elements of that movie. Our reaction to the embassy bombings should be based on sound, credible evidence, not a knee-jerk reaction to try to direct public attention away from his personal problems."[6]

--That last one was from the time when republicans were insisting that terrorism was not a problem, that it was no big deal, that it was silly for congress to pay attention to that, when it should be concentrating on a blue dress instead. and they kept on thinking that way right up until the very day of 9/11.

It happend on their watch, people. Never forget. Because they weren't watching...

Posted by: Drindl | August 16, 2006 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Chris, you said: "Jack Carter, the son of former president Jimmy Carter, cruised to a victory in the Democratic Senate primary. Sen. John Ensign (R) remains a strong favorite in the fall."

That's it? Not so fast. The latest polls show Carter pulling to within 7% of Bush-supporting Ensign. Bush is polling at 38% in Nevada. This is a race to watch, Chris, not dismiss.

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 16, 2006 10:53 AM | Report abuse

61% of the vote for moderates in a hard GOP district.

Interesting. Anti-incumbent lesson is the one to draw from Lieberman and Schwarz, not anti-moderate

Posted by: Me | August 16, 2006 10:50 AM | Report abuse

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