NV-Sen - Good news for Jack Carter

It's official: Oscar Goodman, the mayor of Las Vegas, will NOT run in the Senate race.  Here's the Las Vegas Review-Journal (no permalink):



Mayor Oscar Goodman said he will not seek the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, ending years of speculation among political insiders about the popular mayor's future.


"I love Las Vegas, I love being mayor of Las Vegas," Goodman said in an interview Wednesday with the Review-Journal. "I have a lot on my plate, I want to see it come to fruition, and I can only do that at home."


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NV-Sen -- Population Dynamics

Combine this with the new poll showing Esign under 50 against Carter, and we could have a real race on our hands--Chris

Cross-posted at the new Carter Blog at Carter for Nevada

Nevada has been the fastest growing state in the country for 19 years in a row, and will continue to grow (.xls).  This makes for a unique political situation that's much more volatile, and where incumbency isn't as valuable as it is elsewhere.  Most importantly for us, it will help Jack Carter negate his perceived disadvantages in the Senate race.

Let me break it down for you - I'm going to geek out a little bit and do some number crunching.

Chart source here

The big issue is that of incumbency.  John Ensign's advantage there is not as strong as he'd like.  In 2000, when he was elected, the population was 2 million (pdf).  By 2004, it was up to 2.41 million, and estimates predict that the population in 2006 should be about 2.5 million (pdf).  That means that half a million people, 20% of the population, have never seen Ensign on a ballot.  Looked at another way: in 2000, Ensign won with 55% of the vote.  Therefore, only about 44% of current voters in Nevada voted for him previously.

(You'll notice that I am conflating general population statistics with voter statistics.  I have no reason to believe that the percentage of people who vote has changed that much over this time period.  Between 2000 and 2004, the number of votes cast in Nevada increased 36%, while the population grew only 20%, so clearly, there was a substantial increase in the percentage of people who voted.  Then again, 2006 will be a mid-term election, so turnout is expected to be depressed compared with 2004.  It seems like a wash.  Regardless of exact numbers, the principle is sound.)

Usually, when running against an incumbent, there's a psychology you have to contend with - you're essentially trying to convince voters that they made a mistake the first time around.  This is why the best attacks on incumbents have to do with broken promises and why challengers charge that the incumbent has somehow changed since he/she was elected.  It gives people an excuse to vote against the incumbent without concluding that they were wrong to vote for him/her in the first place.

In Nevada, the population growth expands the options of what a challenger can do.  We've got a whole lot of fresh voters that don't have anything invested in Ensign.  It certainly brings a interesting aspect to this race, and one that most pundits seem to ignore.  

The other issue that is mitigated by the rapid population growth is my Dad's being labelled a "carpetbagger" (he has only lived in Nevada for about 3-4 years).  But, in 2000, only 24% of US citizens living in Nevada were born in the state, making it the most non-native state in the country.  With the further increase in population (the half a million in the last six years), that percentage can only be getting smaller.  As my Dad has said, if he only does well among carpetbaggers, he'll be in great shape.

Clearly, the rapidly growing population of Nevada will a factor in the Carter-Ensign Senate race.  In a future post, I'll look at who these newcomers are and where they're going, and I'll try to figure out how they can best be reached.

Sarah Carter
Carter for Nevada

Jack Carter (for NV Senate) is a real class act.

(x-posted from Dkos)

I got my mail yesterday, and among the "Penny Savers", greencine mailers, bills, and other sundries, I received an envelope from Nevada. What was it? Why... it was a HANDWRITTEN response from Jack Carter thanking me for my donation last week.

Here's the thing, i'm not very well off, but I drop what I can where I can for candidates I like and respect and want to see win. I've donated to Busby, Eric Massa, Jon Tester, Ciro, Hackett, you name it. If somebody is going to stand up for me, i'm going to try to stand up for them in the limited way that I can. I expect nothing in return other then, hopefully, a win and a takeback of the country, but I really want to reiterate just how much this handwritten response affected me.

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NV-Sen -- Carter in "the Rurals"

As many of you know, my Dad, Jack Carter, is running for US Senate in Nevada against Republican incumbent John Ensign.  A few weeks ago, I wrote a diary (here) about the events surrounding his offical Announcement (his speech transcript can be found here).  Today, I'm going to tell you about a whirlwind tour in which we went to five Democratic County Conventions in one day, all of them in Northern Nevada.  At each of the events, Dad told the crowd why he was very optimistic about the race - it all to do with his rural strategy.  I'll break it down for you.

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Diaries

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