Guy W. Farmer: The 2010 elections: Lessons learned
We learned several valuable lessons from last Tuesday’s mid-term elections. Lesson No. 1: Don’t underestimate Harry Reid. Lesson No. 2: Don’t believe anything East Coast pollsters and pundits tell you about Nevadans and the Nevada electorate.
Lesson No. 3: You can’t govern a center-right nation from the left. Are you still with me? Frankly, I wasn’t surprised by Majority Leader Reid’s victory over Tea Party challenger Sharron Angle. I never thought she could win, and she didn’t. Those Eastern pollsters had Angle ahead by four percentage points, and she lost by five. Lesson learned.
Nevada Republicans did a huge favor for their nemesis, Reid, in June when they nominated Angle as their U.S. Senate candidate. Either of her two more moderate opponents, Sue Lowden or Danny Tarkanian, could have defeated Reid. As one of those pesky independent voters, I just couldn’t vote for Angle, who is on the kooky fringe of the Republican Right. So although Reid’s political clout will be greatly diminished in Washington, he’ll continue to deliver the pork for Nevada and won’t let the GOP turn the Silver State into a nuclear garbage dump.
America’s voters sent a clear message to President Obama, Reid and lame duck House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a San Francisco Democrat: We don’t like your free-spending, Big Government agenda; move to the middle. Independent voters like me went Republican by a 55-40 margin. Obama simply hasn’t delivered the change that many of us voted for in ’08.
It’s clear that the Tea Party was a wild card in the midterm elections. Although Angle and Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell lost, other Tea Party Senate candidates won including Marco Rubio in Florida and Rand Paul in Kentucky. Along with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, they’ll be “players” in 2012.
Most Nevadans don’t like political dynasties so no one was surprised when popular Republican Brian Sandoval defeated Sen. Reid’s son, Rory, for governor. Here in Carson some of my candidates won and some lost, as was to be expected. Congratulations to the winners: Assemblyman-elect Pete Livermore, Sheriff Ken Furlong, and newly elected supervisors Karen Abowd and John McKenna. Abowd is mistaken, however, if she thinks her victory was a referendum on the Nugget Bailout Project. If anything, it was a referendum on Adele’s, the world-class restaurant she co-owns with her husband Charlie.
We’ll be counting on CPA McKenna to warn his fellow supervisors against spending our tax dollars on money-losing, “feel good” projects.
I think Republican Livermore’s win was partly due to Democrat Robin Williamson’s decision to go negative; that kind of campaigning goes over like a lead balloon around here.
• Guy W. Farmer has been a Carson City voter since 1962.