Why Reid is wrong about Giunchigliani

Harry Reid, according to the New York Times, told EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock that if Chris Giunchigliani is the Democratic nominee for governor, the casino industry would rush to support Republican Adam Laxalt, and also work to defeat Democratic legislators.

If there is one thing Nevada can always rely on when it comes to the resort industry, it is that the resort industry always gives money to both sides. But then, you already knew that. Schriock probably does too. And Reid probably knows she knows it.

What Reid really seemed to be doing while dissing Chris G.’s chances was deploying Reid-speak to say Steve Sisolak is the electable one.

That’s been the – or a least a – conventional wisdom ever since the primary took shape. The example that purportedly proves the rule is Dina Titus losing to Jim Gibbons in 2006. If only Democrats had nominated Jim Gibson!, or so the story goes.

Chris G. is not Dina Titus. No accent, for one thing. Yes, that’s absurd. It was also a very common – maybe the most common – explanation for Titus’s loss to Gibbons. (It wasn’t mine. I blamed Chrissy Mazzeo.)

But more importantly, 2018 is not 2006. The state’s demographics have shifted. The great recession has left a mark. And from gay marriage to marijuana and other issues public opinion has changed dramatically. Just ask Steve Sisolak. About guns.

And then there’s Trump. I made a case over the weekend that Trump will be the issue of the general election campaign, regardless of whether campaigns treat him as such. And with Trump, comes polarization. The point is this: If Democrats don’t show up in November, Laxalt will win. If Democrats do show up, Laxalt will lose. No matter who the Democratic nominee is.

Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson has been writing about Nevada policy and politics for more than 20 years. He was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and wrote the then-groundbreaking Las Vegas Gleaner, which among other things was the only independent political blog from Nevada that was credentialed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He spent a few years as a senior energy and environmental policy analyst for Public Citizen, and has occasionally worked as a consultant on mining, taxation, education and other issues for Nevada labor and public interest organizations. His freelance work has been published in outlets ranging from the Guardian to Desert Companion to In These Times to the Oil & Gas Journal. For several years he also taught U.S. History courses at UNLV. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and then assistant managing editor at the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming’s largest newspaper.

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