The Fix: Nevada

Polls show Obama up in N.H., close races in Nevada and North Carolina

President Obama and Mitt Romney remained locked in tight contests in Nevada and North Carolina, but the incumbent leads by seven points in New Hampshire, according to new swing state polls from NBC News and Marist College.

The polls show Obama with a two-point edge in both Nevada and North Carolina, 49 percent to 47 percent in the former and 48 percent to 46 percent in the latter — both within the margin of error. In New Hampshire, he leads 51 percent to 44 percent.

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GOP Senate candidates mixed on inviting Ryan to campaign for them

GOP Senate candidates mixed on inviting Ryan to campaign for them

Republican Senate candidates in some marquee races say they would be happy to campaign with the GOP's new vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)

But others are apparently resistant to the idea.

Democrats have attempted to attach Ryan and his plan to Republicans all over the country, labeling Ryan their "running mate" and hoping his controversial Medicare plan hurts downballot GOPers.

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GOP Senate candidates mixed on inviting Ryan to campaign for them

GOP Senate candidates mixed on inviting Ryan to campaign for them

Republican Senate candidates in some marquee races say they would be happy to campaign with the GOP’s new vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)

But others are apparently resistant to the idea.

Democrats have attempted to attach Ryan and his plan to Republicans all over the country, labeling Ryan their “running mate” and hoping his controversial Medicare plan hurts downballot GOPers.

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Shelley Berkley and the ‘under investigation’ label

The House ethics committee announced late Monday afternoon that it would launch a formal investigation into Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.). At issue is whether her legislative actions were meant to help her husband’s business.

And it comes at about the worst possible time for her — less than four months before she is on the ballot for an open Senate seat.

But while it’s clear that the news certainly is not good for Berkley, just how bad is it, really? And how much does it jeopardize her and Democrats’ chances of unseating appointed Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.)?
Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) hosts a "Congress on Your Corner" event in January 2011. (Marlene Karas for The Washington Post)

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Cynthia Dill and Charlie Summers to face Angus King in Maine Senate race

Updated at 11:49 p.m.

The two major parties chose their candidates for Maine’s open Senate seat, but in this unusual race, both will face an uphill battle against popular former governor Angus King, an independent.

State Sen. Cynthia Dill beat former Maine secretary of state Matthew Dunlap and two other candidates in the Democratic primary. She ran as a progressive Democrat fighting Gov. Paul LePage (R).

On the GOP side, current Secretary of State Charles Summers beat out state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin and four others. Poliquin ran to the right of Summers and lost despite outraising his rival and getting help from the outside group FreedomWorks.

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Newt Gingrich: ‘I’m not going to withdraw’

Newt Gingrich predicted during a press conference following Saturday’s Nevada caucuses that he would emerge as the GOP front-runner again by the Texas primary.

The one problem with that: We have no idea when Texas will hold its primary. A spat over redistricting is likely to push it beyond its scheduled date, April 3.

Gingrich’s remarks about regaining his front-runner status by Texas — which he repeated — capped a bizarre press conference held Saturday in Las Vegas.

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Mitt Romney’s Nevada caucus win: What it means

Mitt Romney confirmed his status as the prohibitive front-runner in the GOP presidential race Saturday with a win in the Nevada caucuses.

But Romney’s apparently large margin of victory may say more about his opponents than his own candidacy.

While Romney’s first-place finish was never really in doubt, the lack of traction from the two men vying to be the top non-Romney candidate in the race was perhaps the biggest development.

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Nevada caucus results: AP projects Mitt Romney victory

Nevada caucus results: AP projects Mitt Romney victory

No surprise: Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is the overwhelming victor in Nevada’s caucuses with 47.6 percent of the vote, supported by a politically-active Mormon base but dominating across demographic groups.

About a quarter of the electorate was Mormon — the same as in 2008, when Romney won with 51 percent of the vote. But Romney also beat Gingrich with evangelical voters, according to entrance polls.

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Nevada caucuses: What to watch for

We are now just minutes away from getting the first results in the 2012 Nevada caucuses.

So besides listening to The Fix’s Nevada playlist, what else can you do to get ready for the big night?

Funny you should ask. After the jump, The Fix has put together a few things you should watch for in tonight’s results and the aftermath.

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The best Nevada music: A Fix playlist

The Nevada caucuses are tomorrow, and that means we need music to listen to while we wait for the results.

Here’s how you can help. Tell us your favorite songs from or about the Silver State with the hashtag #fixplaylist, and we’ll add them to our primary day playlist. Deal?

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Do Nevada’s caucuses matter?

Presidential contests are inherently an expectations game, and because of that, the expectation is that Saturday’s contest in Nevada doesn’t mean much.

Rightly or wrongly, when a state isn’t competitive, we generally discount its broader impact on the presidential race.

And given the fact that Mitt Romney blew out his competition in the Silver State four years ago and is likely to do so again, his likely victory probably won’t land with the same kind of oomph it might have, had the outcome been in any serious amount of doubt.

So does Nevada matter?

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Mitt Romney’s Mormon advantage

Mitt Romney’s opponents really never had much of a chance in Nevada.

And it’s largely because of Romney’s Mormon religion.

While Romney’s faith has rightly been described as a liability in previous states — most notably Iowa and South Carolina, where evangelical Christians have balked at supporting Romney — it’s hard to call it anything but a trump card in Nevada (so to speak).

And, in fact, it made it virtually impossible for anybody to beat Romney.

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Mitt Romney says he ‘misspoke’ about lack of concern for poor

Mitt Romney said in an interview set to air Thursday evening that he “misspoke” when he said that he was “not concerned about the very poor.”

In an interview with Nevada’s “Face to Face with Jon Ralston,” the former Massachusetts governor and GOP presidential front-runner said he merely flubbed a line that he has said before.

“It was a misstatement; I misspoke,” Romney said, according to a transcript provided to The Fix. “I’ve said something that is similar to that but quite acceptable for a long time.”

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Nevada caucuses: Five questions with Nevada political expert Jon Ralston

The Fix doesn’t like to just toss around the term “guru” — except when referring to our spiritual advisers, that is.

But when it comes to Nevada politics, there’s really no other word for Jon Ralston.

So with his home state’s caucuses two days away, The Fix is using Ralston as a guinea pig for a new Fix feature (with apologies to Craig Kilborn) called “Five questions.”

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The best Nevada political tweeters: A Fix list

We here at The Fix love lists. For each primary (or caucus), we’re bringing you the people you need to follow to stay on top of the news.

Without further ado — because the Silver State caucuses are just two days away! — our favorite tweeps in Nevada:

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Donald Trump endorses Mitt Romney

This story has been updated.

Celebrity mogul Donald Trump endorsed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in Las Vegas today.

“Mitt is tough, he’s sharp, he’s smart,” said Trump from the lobby of his Las Vegas hotel. “He’s not going to allow bad things to continue to happen to this country that we all love.”

Romney took the podium after Trump’s brief endorsement.

“There are some things you just can’t imagine happening in your life. This is one of them,” he joked, adding more substantively that the two agree on China policy. He called Trump’s endorsement “a delight,” adding that he was “so honored and pleased” to have the reality star’s backing. He quickly pivoted into a short stump speech; the whole event lasted only a few minutes.

“I think if he debates the way he’s been debating, I think he’ll beat Obama handily," Trump said of Romney in a brief meeting with reporters in the hotel lobby.

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Mitt Romney makes leap with Hispanics

Once thought to have a potential liability in appealing to Hispanics, Mitt Romney appears to have overcome his doubters.

One of Romney’s more remarkable turnarounds in the Florida primary between 2008 and 2012 was among the state’s many Hispanic voters. While he increased his vote share overall by 15 points, from 31 percent to 46 percent, he increased his performance among Hispanics by 40, from 14 percent in 2008 to 54 percent on Tuesday, according to exit polls.

That’s a pretty huge improvement, but how much does it mean going forward?

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Special elections reveal a fickle electorate

Republicans are citing their momentum in two special elections being held Tuesday as evidence that the national political environment has shifted against Democrats and President Obama.


Assemblyman David Weprin is in a surprisingly close race for a House seat in New York. (Ken Goldfield - AP Photo)
Four months ago, Democrats made the same argument about the GOP’s liabilities during their own win in an upstate New York special election.

And they are both right. Kind of.

The two competing storylines coming out of very different special elections just 130 days apart shows just how fickle American voters are right now.

They also demonstrate that any Republican momentum should be seen as momentary, and that the electorate four months hence could just as well revert back to punishing Republicans.

Meanwhile, all eyes Tuesday will be on whether the GOP can truly steal the seat of former congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) and keep that of now-Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.).

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