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April 25, 2015

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J. Patrick Coolican:

Election results don’t bode well for GOP, future local TV revenue


Chris Carlson / AP

President Barack Obama waves to the crowd at his election night party Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago. President Obama defeated Republican challenger former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

J. Patrick Coolican

J. Patrick Coolican

My five takes on the election results.

1. Local TV stations better get ready for austerity because the gravy train of swing state advertising money might be ending.

Democrats have won the national popular vote in six of the past seven presidential elections. In Nevada, this move to the Democratic column has been more recent but also swifter. President Barack Obama’s comfortable victory here — despite the terrible economy, joblessness and housing market — illustrates that Nevada isn’t much of a presidential swing state anymore. Hence, my suspicion that we won’t continue to be inundated with TV ads every four years.

The demographic trends working against Republicans nationally are even fiercer here. CNN exit polls show that Hispanics constitute 18 percent of the electorate, up from 15 percent in 2008 and 2010, and Obama won nearly 70 percent of those voters. And, every day, more and more Hispanics become citizens or turn 18, and nearly all of them recoil from the GOP’s strident positions on immigration, but also from its conservative economic policies.

2. Organization matters. The Nevada demographic and political trends would be bad enough for Republicans, whose coalition is aging and whose party organization is a dysfunctional clown car. But Democrats counter with a strong organizational machine that registers voters, finds them and gets them to the polls.

Of course, anything can happen — think of war and financial crisis during the Bush years. But these two factors — demographics and organizational mismatch — make it hard to imagine a Republican winning Nevada in future presidential contests.

3. And yet ... Nevada is no California. Republicans still can win statewide with the right candidate. And the inverse is true: The wrong Democratic candidate can lose. As I write this, the race between Sen. Dean Heller and Democratic challenger Rep. Shelley Berkley is still in doubt.

But win or lose, in retrospect, Berkley isn’t looking like a great candidate. The House Ethics Committee unanimously voted to investigate Berkley over her support of a UMC kidney transplant program that stood to benefit her husband, who is a doctor. Say what you want about the allegations, but a House Ethics Committee investigation isn’t a great launching pad for a statewide race.

Same with outgoing Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, who lost a winnable race against Republican incumbent Rep. Joe Heck. Oceguera had all kinds of baggage while Heck has shrewdly created a perception — true or not — that he’s an independent Republican.

4. Great night for Harry Reid. Republicans had a shot to win the majority of the U.S. Senate, but Democrats won almost across the board, including in states that should have been Republican locks, such as Indiana and Missouri. And Reid’s animosity toward Mitt Romney was palpable. His dubious, unsubstantiated claim that Romney paid no income taxes managed to dominate a news cycle or two. After President Obama helped Reid in 2010, Reid returned the favor, and his man won.

5. Democratic agenda? The Democratic base is going to start demanding better schools, health care, social services and other progressive priorities. But they’ll be frustrated. For one thing, Clark County voters failed to support both the school bond measure and the Henderson Library tax Tuesday, indicating that the Nevada antipathy to taxes remains, especially as the economy continues to sputter.

Tax increases at the Legislature require two-thirds majority, which is a difficult hill to climb. Meanwhile, term limits create constant churn and, frankly, chaos at the Legislature, which makes it hard to pass ambitious progressive goals.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Democratic base turn to the initiative process to pass its agenda, assuming it has one.

Like in California. Uh-oh.

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  1. GOP does need to revisit the party platform. Women will not tolerate ANY politician / legislation affecting their rights and bodies. AND, Americans are soooo war weary that the endless harping of old men (like McCain) insisting we intervene in every squabble worldwide has turned off all of us. But the GOP is on the right track regarding economic decisions, how capitalism works, and REFUSAL to support every single-parent household on the planet.

  2. This is confusing: "The Democratic base is going to start demanding better schools, health care, social services and other progressive priorities."

    Then the article concludes by acknowledging that Clark County - the most Progressive county in Nevada - failed to support measures dealing with better schools and social services.

    Then again, you have Republicans like Sarah Palin or those who insist that "GOP is on the right track regarding economic decisions, how capitalism works, and REFUSAL to support every single-parent household on the planet."

    So long as they continue with an absolute mentality - a no compromise on principles approach - they will continue to relegate themselves to a regional influence.

  3. I'm a registered Republican and the GOP is too far to the right. I consider myself a moderate and think that we need to be fiscally conservative. The GOP's stance on social issues such as abortion, gay marriage, etc. are irrelevant to alot of moderates including myself.

    Just generalizing since it's a complicated problem, but if Republicans can't win with both issues then we need to prioritize on one. We need to choose whether fiscal issues or social issues will define the GOP over the next 4 years. Win with one or lose on both.

  4. TomD 8:22: Romney was following campaigner advise to "moderate" and appeal to the masses. And, one can never under-estimate the intelligence of..... I fear we will regret these election results. However, this is where we're at. I support Israel, but did NOT support Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria or even Libya. Let them infight all they want. But lay a hand on American soil and we will be there, all the way--and we must start with SECURING the border from illegals, terrorists, and the Mexican Al Quaida connection. At least local voters are coming around and telling government employees NO COLA's, CUT compensation, pay your half of retirement..... Wonder how long it will take for the County, City, and School District to figure out they have to cut compensation down to reasonable levels. We've taxed out our economy--we tax too much and borrow so much that our economy is imploding. We must cut costs. My cut list

    1. Stop feeding, housing, medicating illegals and career indigents BUT retain a safety net for WORKING Americans and those who are now unemployed.

    2. Deport, expel and KEEP THEM LOCKED UP when they are convicted. It's said America locks up so many more people than elsewhere BUT THE STATS ARE SKEWED cause we keep letting criminals out and they "recount" when we convict again and again.

    3. Encourage education for those who have established ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE. But, eliminate student loans, grants, scholarships and subsidized tuition (state universities) for those with limited academic performance.

    4. COLLECT student loans. Unpaid taxes of government employees.

    5. Get the federal government out of social welfare by cutting 20% a year. Also eliminate federal requirements and mandates re welfare--local government will know what's best for our people.

    6. REGULATE NON PROFITS to insist they stop giving preference to illegals with kids over Americans who have paid their dues but are now on hard times and limited income.

    7. End foreign aide, military aid, limit State Department assessments of what every foreign government "needs" from U.S. in terms of assistance. Stop paying excessive dues to United Nations and off-shots thereof. If it's such a good idea to vaccinate all of Africa re Malaria, how about someone else chipping in?

    8. Bring ALL our troops home to protect our geography. Funding hundreds of thousands of American soldiers in England, Germany, Guam, Japan.... has got to END SOON.

    9. We don't need 11 ELEVEN BATTLESHIP AIR CARRIERS. Five is more than enough. Does anyone else have more than two? one?

    and we can keep numbering

  5. Many women still voting recall when abortions were illegal. That one issue almost swayed me. Sure, you don't want to need an abortion, but if your daughter might need one, who needs ostracism, self-righteous fools spouting their brand of "religion".... Women don't necessarily insist that the government pay for it but don't even threaten to encroach on contraceptive rights, abortion rights, voting rights. Ever notice how the American public is willing to accept minority men but NOT women of any race, color or creed. Hillary never had a chance but Barack does?

  6. Commercial politics. Seems an accurate view of what politics has become.

    Some media reminds me of the carnival clown facade with it's open mouth that would take all the balls or bean bags that could be thrown at it.

    Those who are being disparaged here are learning the facts, and growing in knowledge, and increasingly voting on more than one issue, because many issues effect them as citizens, just as they effect the whole nation, and even the global community.

    Young people are entering adult society continually, and many with new, progressive ideas because they are open; technology has prepared them for that with its rapid changes and improvements. They are not as prone to being brainwashed by the manipulators who profit big off of their 'followers'.

    Young people are more likely to be of mixed ethnicity or mixed marriages than past generations.

    They have more experience with living and working with people of many different backgrounds, but less inclination to segregate as past generations. Most keep expanding.

    The global economy has also coincided with global relationships, and social environments, inside and outside the U.S.

    There is more acceptance of, caring for, and sharing with, people as people rather than as ethnic groups, etc. Previous barriers have been and continue to be dropped.

    More and more, people are rejecting the ideas of division and segregation of people based on all the old division based on ethnicity, gender, race, religion and anything else the insecure wish to use to keep separations.

    This is progress in the US and the world. The more the better in my book.