Las Vegas Sun

October 16, 2019

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What are the take-aways from Tuesday’s primary, especially on the Republican side?

Primary results

1. You can't draw sweeping conclusions about ideology or the impact of establishment and anti-establishment. Sharron Angle, the insurgent Tea Party U.S. Senate candidate, beat establishment candidate Sue Lowden, but Brian Sandoval, the establishment choice for governor, beat Gov. Jim Gibbons. Hard-right conservative state Senate candidate Don Gustavson won, but so did moderate Ben Kieckhefer.

2. Voters don't like to be embarrassed by candidates. Time and again in interviews the Sun conducted with Republican voters, they mentioned Lowden's chicken problem — her repeated defense of bartering as a means for obtaining health care. Meanwhile, the past four years have been one embarrassing incident after another for Gibbons. "Sue Lowden opened her mouth and she killed herself," said Florann Ruby, a 79-year-old retired editor. "She was my initial vote, but I couldn't go there given that she was the one that brought out her own negatives."

3. Republican voters are extremely conservative. "Immigration needs to be curtailed. Taxes are way too high. There's way too much reliance on government," said Mike Obstgarten, 36, a self-employed tutor. "Pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps has been going for some time."

4. Voters hate the status quo. Nearly all of the 100 voters the Sun interviewed during the past week said Nevada and America are on the wrong track. "We're too deep in debt and the bailout packages focused on big banks and corporate America instead of the common people," said Duane Frizzell, 41, an attorney and Republican. "Plus, we seem to have no war objective, and the situation in the Gulf of Mexico is a complete mess."

5. Candidates who secured their base won, those who didn't, lost. Sue Lowden should have cleaned up in Clark County, but didn't. Angle dominated in Washoe. And, uh, hello Sen. Reid: You won only 75 percent of Democrats.

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