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NV-03: Daskas Drops Out (Updated)

by: James L.

Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 3:17 PM EDT


Whoa.  Is the top Democratic candidate challenging GOP Rep. Jon Porter on the verge of dropping out of the race?  That's what the Ralton Flash says.  Here's the House Race Hotline (sub. NOT req'd, for now) summary:

Clark Co. prosecutor Robert Daskas (D) is "on verge of dropping out of race" against Rep. Jon Porter (R), according to NV analyst Jon Ralston. An announcement is "expected soon," but he's likely to cite "personal reasons" for dropping the race. The DCCC is "already courting" state Senate Min. Leader/'06 GOV nominee Dina Titus (D).

If accurate, this would be a big setback for Democrats.  Daskas' fundraising pace has been decent, and he's sitting on $450K cash-on-hand as of April 1st (good enough to earn him a 44% CoH competitiveness rating), and any late-entering challenger would start out well behind the curve in the money race.

Dina Titus has already declined a chance to run against Porter this cycle, so I'm not sure if she'd be a willing replacement here.

If confirmed, this would be a disturbing turn of events in this D+1 district.

UPDATE: Yup, he's definitely out.  Here's the statement from the Daskas campaign:

Citing family considerations, Robert Daskas has announced his decision to withdraw his candidacy for Nevada's Third Congressional District.  The Daskas campaign has every confidence that another strong, viable candidate will enter the race and unseat incumbent Jon Porter.  Daskas thanks everyone for their support and asks supporters to stay focused on the common goal of changing our representative in the Third Congressional District.  Democrats now hold a 22,500 voter registration advantage over Republicans in the district.

Nevada's filing deadline: May 16

Later Update: The Politico says that Titus is in:

Democrats have already recruited a new candidate, Nevada Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus, who may announce as soon as tomorrow that she's entering the race. Titus has statewide name recognition, and Democrats hope that she can raise enough money quickly to challenge Porter in November.

"Dina Titus would be an excellent candidate with unparalleled experience and support from people in Nevada's 3rd congressional district," DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). "Her vision, strength, and ability to get things done for Nevada would make her a powerful voice for change."

James L. :: NV-03: Daskas Drops Out (Updated)
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Yikes!
Not good news, especially the timing. Similar problem in WV-02 where the anointed one bailed at the last minute. But at least in WV-02 they had a willing challenger in Barth who jumped in and did a respectable amount of fundraising.

The problem here is we are fliritng with May. Wasted almost half a year.


Ugg
If you are not going to run a race, then don't. What a horrible time to drop out.

This is going to be one of the most targeted districts in the entire presidential race and would be a top pick up. Now we will see.

If Dina Titus runs and runs hard it could still be a race. But we will see.

What can Daskas do with the money. Can he transfer it all to another canidate or does he have to send it to the DCCC if he wants to keep the money in the race.


NV-03
Wasn't there a state legislator/waitress who was being talked up last year?  I remember that she was a lead negotiator in some labor contract negotiations (or something along the lines) and she sounded like an interesting candidate.

the waitress = Maggie Carlton
She has a terrific backstory to sell to the electorate and I think she'd have terrific potential:

http://turntahoeblue.blogspot....

However, the race was open at the start if the campaign season and she chose not to enter for whatever reason. I would guess that she'd need all the lead time of a full-length campaign to win in the general election, so although I'm going to try not to lose track of her as a promising player on the bench, this may not be her year.

It is possible, given her profession , that the thought of the constant fund-raising that a Congressional candidate has to do every two years seems overwhelming to her, and is keeping her back? She presumably has no personal assets to throw into a warchest. I live in a rural district where two (Republican) primary candidates threw $1.2 million and $365,000 of their personal fortunes into the kitty, this cycle, and didn't even win the nomination. I'm certain that when people read numbers like that, it dampens the spirits of potential candidates who don't start out with any cash of their own.

On the other hand, those two candidates lost to an entrenched GOP party hack who spent $26,000. Money doesn't ensure success. But it sure helps.
 

Half the population believes our electoral system is broken. The other half believes it is fixed. Wakeuplaughing.com  


[ Parent ]
You must tell us which district!
Open GOP seats, that have had primaries already... PA-05... um, gosh, I can't think of many.  Colorado, New Mexico, California, Florida, Missouri, Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, New York have not had their primaries yet.  Texas has but no GOP open seats, Ohio I don't think has had theirs, Minnesota's open seat is not rural, neither is LA-01...

I'm stumped.  I have to guess it's PA-05, for lack of another option.

28, gay guy, Democrat, CA-08


[ Parent ]
You advance to the next round!
Bingo!

I live in PA-05. Two of the neophyte Republican candidates tried to leap-frog ahead of a 9-man (they were all male) field by spending gaboons of their personal money. It looked like the plan might work, too, but neither could overcome a taint of personal scandal and one of the local party hacks pulled ahead.

His name is Thompson, and he's probably favored to win in November, though the Democrat who won our primary, County Commissioner Mark McCracken, is better qualified to serve in Congress. They both know the district well, but McCracken has held responsible office.    

Half the population believes our electoral system is broken. The other half believes it is fixed. Wakeuplaughing.com  


[ Parent ]
Not so bad.
   Dana Titus is a good candidate.  She has big name recognition from her recent run for governor.  It would have been better if she had started maybe six months ago, but this seems like a good trade to me.  Porter is on the ropes.  His district is turning blue, and he didn't even get 50% of the vote last time.

24, Male, GA-05

Titus, our candidate
for Governor who just barely lost in 06, and a prominent State Senator, (minority leader), is a far stronger candidate. She has a lot more fundraising connections, and really gets progressives out to the polls voting. So the only question is over who wins independants, because Porter is really closer to the center than Titus, but is weighed down by his support for Bush and the Iraq war.  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

Titus missed Guv by a few %.
Perhaps she's a significantly better candidate than Daskas?  It would've been nice, though, to have Daskas' cash...

Though the D-Trip is no doubt gonna commit heavily.


But mad props...
... to van Hollen for cleaning this up so quickly.

[ Parent ]
Indeed
I think this speaks volumes to the power of the DCCC this time around again.  We are getting all the best recruits.  This is totally an upgrade of a candidate, it's just the lost time of being able to fundraise and campaign.  

This was just an up and down post to read.  It was like, oh crap dont drop out, shit!!!, oh thank god!  What a rollercoaster.


[ Parent ]
Alleluia
mad props to van Hollen for cleaning this up so quickly.

I'll join that chorus!  

Half the population believes our electoral system is broken. The other half believes it is fixed. Wakeuplaughing.com  


[ Parent ]
Was Daskas forced out?
Looking at this from a distance, this sounds like the DCCC
pushing him out in favor of Titus.

Move should have been made earlier, if it was to be made.  This is a key race as Porter is a strong challenger against Reid in 2010.


[ Parent ]
by a few points
against a guy who was strangling prostitutes. i dunno, i thought the word was going around that she was a lightweight candidate and that was the only reason we didn't take out gibbons (the guy had what, a 12% approval rating shortly after the election?)
however, if y'all are talking up her as a progressive, i'll hold my tongue. it is pretty incredible that we got her in so amazingly soon. big up.

It is difficult to get the news from poems, but men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there. --William Carlos Williams

[ Parent ]
unfortunately
nine something percent voted "None of the above", which Nevada shouldn't be allowed to have on the ballot, most of those voters probably would have swayed to Titus. The end results was still like 45-42, with the rest going to third party candidates, like Minnesota Independant party, which is made of all these liberals who think the Democratic party isn't liberal enough, so apparently their determined to keep them from ever winning a Governorship, they'd rather have an incompetent conservative. It's young upstart college students who think they'll somehow change the party and the world by pouring work into a dead third party that can only play as spoiler in a system without a similar conservative third party.  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
AMEN!
You nailed it on the day.  If we don't win here in MN in 2010 I am going to shit a brick.  We haven't had a DFL gov. since 1992!!!!  And you described it PERFECTLY ArkDem, my roomie is one of those college kids.  I gave her a ton of shit afterwards.  And my friends from high school voted Green party!  I absolutely hate these third parties.  We dont need a Green party candidate when Amy Klobuchar is running, she has been an absolute leader with Boxer on environmental issues.  Those third parties ruin DFL chances in the governor race now the past three elections.

[ Parent ]
"Lightweight" wouldn't be quite right.
She was viewed as too liberal to win over the Nevada electorate, and therefore not a wholly "serious" candidate because she didn't really have a credible path to victory.  But she is supposedly pretty darn smart and generally capable, so the fact that that particular campaign might have been "lightweight" shouldn't be taken to mean that she is one.  Or that her next campaign, for a different office with a different electorate, would necessarily be one.

I can't tell if this is good news or bad.  Apologies for the facile analogy, but she is kindof a Clinton candidate: unquestionably capable, long record of experience, but also more defined in the mind of the electorate, in ways that may constrain her ability to get to 51%.  Daskas would be the Obama: young new talent onto whom voters can project their own opinions, so somebody who has more open doors with independents, but also more questions about his preparation and suitability for the job.

I kindof think voters will be more prepared to vote for outsider Democrats than insider Democrats this November, which is to say I think they have more openness to our stated policy aims than they have faith in the current and past actual living breathing Democrats.  I think they like the sales pitch a lot more than they like or trust the people who have been making the pitch -- the actual Democrats -- hence, people who are making the pitch but who appear unconnected to the bulk of the party (Daskas, Obama) would do better than those who are making the pitch but who are of and from the party.  Which is another way of saying, unlike in the post-FDR era, I don't think there are many people who are particularly impressed with what actual Democrats have done in the last 20-30 years.  Whereas there was a generation after FDR (and even JFK) who were.  The GOP has been so much worse lately that the voters have to turn back to us, but I think they'd rather turn to new Democrats than to the old ones.  Because the message they're trying to send to DC is "do something different", not, "do the Clinton/Carter thing again."

Anyway.  I think either Daskas or Titus should be able to win this race, assuming Titus is "in it to win it."  Which I would assume she is.  

28, gay guy, Democrat, CA-08


[ Parent ]
That's not particularly true
At least the last point about "voters not particularly impressed with what actual Democrats have done in the last 20-30 years."

By any standard, the Clinton administration was not only popular then, but also fairly popular and nostalgic now. But you're right that he didn't leave a huge legacy of policy behind like FDR or JFK/LBJ did, although the new economy and the balanced budget were significant points of achievement.


[ Parent ]
Well, it's my opinion
about the sentiment of the electorate.  I didn't claim it was objectively true.

There are polls of course, though polling is as much art as science, and asking the right questions is the tricky part.  I agree that "the Clinton Administration" was popular, but I don't think it was popular for any of its policy accomplishments.  NAFTA, welfare reform, health care failure, DADT/DOMA, "school uniforms"...  the Clinton Administration was more popular for who they weren't (Reagan Bush Bush), and for the style with which they did it, than they were for their policy accomplishments, many of which were quite unpopular actually.  They also had a good economy going, and they seem to have been pretty fiscally wise.  And on the third try, they figured out the correct response to genocide.

But my contention is not that they were unpopular, but rather that they are popular more in contrast to who they aren't (the GOP) and what they didn't do (completely ruin the country), than for who they are and what they actually did.  (FDR being the illustrative contrast.)  I do think the country is actually more eager for Something Completely Different than they are for a Clinton/Gephardt Restoration.      I think they're more eager for Change than for the Steady Hands of the Clinton Administration and the 80s/90s congressional Democrats.  I could be wrong, of course, but that's my hunch.

As a consequence, I was saying that the archetypal Daskas is unusually strong this year compared to the archetypal Titus, who usually is the far safer and better choice.  (In point of fact, I think actual Daskas was probably weaker than actual Titus, though I don't know.)

28, gay guy, Democrat, CA-08


[ Parent ]
0h, that's a terrible exaggeration
against a guy who was strangling prostitutes.

0h, that's a terrible exaggeration. You must be one of those terrible media pundits, dominated by extremist views.  

A close examination of the record will reveal that the now-incumbent governor was only accused of strangling one prostitute. Just one. One little prostitute, and just see how the extreme Leftists blow it all out of proportion and try to blacken a man's character.  

Half the population believes our electoral system is broken. The other half believes it is fixed. Wakeuplaughing.com  


[ Parent ]
I'm pretty sure she was a COCKTAIL WAITRESS.
I suppose she may have been a prostitute also, although I've never heard that claimed before, it's not at wikipedia, and I expect it's probably not true.

It is certainly the case though that cocktail waitress != prostitute.  Although that realization may not have penetrated the curdled mind of Jim Gibbons.

28, gay guy, Democrat, CA-08


[ Parent ]
an astute correction
I didn't re-check before block quoting.

Whether she was a waitress, a madam, or a street-dangerous gang-lord, however, we do know one thing. She's less of a blight on society than a Congressman and candidate for Governor who would assault a person who has said no and dialed 911 once already.  

Half the population believes our electoral system is broken. The other half believes it is fixed. Wakeuplaughing.com  


[ Parent ]
Great news about Titus
Does anyone have numbers in district for her run for governor? I would assume she won the district, would that be wrong?

She would at least seem like a very strong canidate. Minority leader, 06 governor canidate would would win if the election were held today, DNC member. Sounds good to me.


Titus won Clark County 49% to 43% in 2006
District 3 is entirely within Clark County.  But, Clark County also includes all of District 1 and a small part of District 2.  

[ Parent ]
another thing

Her state Senate district is also mostly or completely in NV-3, iirc.  Gives her a good starting point on turnout.

Boy, this is going to be a big election for grassroots folks in Clark County.  At stake are wins for Titus for US House, probably a Democratic replacement for Titus in her state Senate district (which is 60/40ish iirc), and the two targeted state Senate seats (it's 11R-10D, so a single net gain tips the chamber to Democrats).

I hope SoCal donors and activists send in the big $$$ and enough manpower.  After this election Nevada could be a totally different ballgame.

I'm trying to think of a US House delegation with three women and zero men.  (Jill Derby has a substantially more Republican district, though.)   I think it would be a first.  Even two plus one man would be news.


[ Parent ]
Dina Titus may be ideal if
if we have to field a late-arriving candidate against the two small fry who were already in the primary race against Daskas.
She has solid name recognition and a donor list she can tap. I was on it last cycle and I live far, far from her jurisdiction. I wasn't there to see her ground game, but she was doing everything right to marshal resources from out of state - not so easy in a governor's race.

Emily's List turned on the tap for her, in 2006. I wonder if Titus talked to them, before she said yes to NV-03. They could use this tidbit to good effect, if they choose to get involved:

I'm trying to think of a US House delegation with three women and zero men.  (Jill Derby has a substantially more Republican district, though.)   I think it would be a first.

To really work that angle Emily's List would have to endorse Derby too, I'd think, even if they didn't fund-raise for her. Is Derby pro-choice?  

Half the population believes our electoral system is broken. The other half believes it is fixed. Wakeuplaughing.com  


[ Parent ]
Thank God Titus is a strong enough candidate
to where I don't need to throw my rankings all over the place.  (haha)  But hopefully she can prove stronger than Daskas and win.  Then I don't care.  

It's going to be nigh-impossible now
since Porter has a million in the bank and Titus starts off at zero. And don't expect much help from the DCCC, this is a third-tier pickup possibility.

second tier

at worst.  Beyond Titus personally, what's at stake in Nevada this election- and concentrated in that district- is the possibility of tipping things Blue on other levels.  I don't think Titus will much have trouble passing Porter and getting to the $2-3 million range.  If only for funding turnout and public pressure to good effect downticket and maybe upticket and on Porter's prospects, even though it might be 2 years or 4 years too early for her to win.  My guesstimate is that she gets to 48%, maybe more.

The major limitation would be if casino industry (which is what amounts to Establishment in LV) puts out the word that she's a major problem relative to Porter, which I doubt.

In some ways this race is vaguely academic on the US House level alone.  Clark County is going to get another seat in 2012, for a total of three.  The logical thing is to make two D or lean D and the other lean R, since the split of the Greater Las Vegas is basically that.  The Reno-based seat will then be the state weathervane.  


[ Parent ]

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