Thinking Citizen Blog — Midterm Elections (Part Five): Gubernatorial Races in Nevada, Texas, and New York
Thinking Citizen Blog — Sunday is Political Process, Campaign Strategy, and Candidate Selection Day
Today’s Topic: Midterm Elections (Part Five): Gubernatorial Races in Nevada, Texas, and New York
“Don’t Vote. It Just Encourages the Bastards” is the fantastic title of a book by libertarian satirist PJ O’Rourke (1947–2022). There is more than a grain of truth there, I think. But never mind that. Let’s get back to the series on midterm elections worthy of note. What midterm elections are you watching most closely? Why? Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
NEVADA: Incumbent Governor Steve Sisolak (D) vs Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (R)
1. “The state remains closely divided, with Democrats having a 32.7% to 29.9% edge over Republicans in active registered voters, according to the secretary of state’s office. Both parties are outnumbered by the 37.4% of voters who are affiliated with neither major party, creating a fierce battle for the middle.” (fifth link below)
2. “As in many states and races across the country, the greatest number of respondents (46 percent) cited the economy as the top issue determining their vote next month, followed by threats to democracy (14 percent) and abortion access (13 percent). The issue of economy as top-of-mind among voters is unsurprising given how the COVID-19 pandemic and its related restrictions hit the tourism- and hospitality-driven state.” (third link below)
3. “Unlike in some other states, Nevada has a GOP primary electorate that chose the candidate with the strongest chance of winning in November: Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo. He has articulated more restrained rhetoric than some of the other Republican nominees on the Nevada ballot, and his law-enforcement profile in the state’s most populous county has given him a high profile.”
NB: “Lombardo took the lead in the race in early October, according to the FiveThirtyEight polling average, but it’s well within the margin of error. A key question is whether the vaunted Democratic turnout machine run by the late Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will be able to boost the party’s prospects after his death less than a year ago.”
TEXAS: Challenger Beto O’Rourke (D) versus Incombent Governor Gregg Abbott (R)
1. “Likely voters in Texas said the most important issue to them is securing the border (28 percent), followed by the economy and inflation (20 percent) and then a tie between reproductive rights and gun control (each at 10 percent).”
2. “Those numbers differ when controlled for party affiliation: 47 percent of Republicans mark securing the border as their top issue, compared to 27 percent of independents and only 4 percent of Democrats.”
3. “Twenty-one percent of Democrats say that reproductive rights is the priority issue, with gun control following closely behind at 19 percent.”
NB: Abbott leads by 51.9% to 42.5% in the latest FiveThirtyEight poll. Both candidates have raised huge war chests in a state with no limits on campaign contributions.
NEW YORK: Incumbent Kathy Hochul (D) versus challenger Lee Zeldin (R)
1. “For the first time in decades, the race for governor in New York is competitive” (New York Times)
2. “Mr. Zeldin has voted consistently to limit abortion rights; Ms. Hochul has made herself their defender. He wants to expand the extraction of climate-warming natural gas; she opposes it and is pushing a congestion pricing plan to help reduce emissions in New York City.”
3. “He is pushing to reverse criminal justice reforms that he says are spurring more crime; she mostly stands by the spirit of those laws. And though they have both vowed to make New York more affordable, their proposals have little overlap.”
NB: “Mr. Zeldin, who grew up in two law-enforcement households, has made crime the centerpiece of his campaign and blames attempts by progressive Democrats to overhaul the criminal justice system. “Vote like your life depends on it,” he says in his closing campaign message. “Because it does.” Latest FiveThirtyEight poll: Hochul leads 51% to 43.6%. But Zeldin was at 31% in July.
FOOTNOTE: is PJ O’Rourke right about this, too?
“O’Rourke’s best-received book is Parliament of Whores, subtitled A Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire U.S. Government, whose main argument, according to the author, “is that politics are boring”.
Quote of the Month:
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty, — that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” John Keats, “Ode on a Grecian Urn”
LAST FOUR YEARS OF POSTS ORGANIZED THEMATICALLY:
#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, 11/17/20
Please share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to political process or campaign strategy or 2020 candidate selection or anything else for that matter.
This is your chance to make some one else’s day or change their thinking. Or to consolidate in your own memory something worth remembering that might otherwise be lost. Or to clarify or deepen your own understanding of something dear to your heart. Continuity is key to depth of thought.