After months of bitter infighting between Nevada Democrats turned their gubernatorial primary into an expensive “bloodbath,” Clark County politician Steve Sisolak faces an uphill battle in the general election. Nevada political observers agree that Sisolak’s costly Democrat primary brawl with Chris Giunchigliani has left him with depleted campaign resources and lagging support from voters in his own party, while Republican Adam Laxalt enters the general election with clear momentum. Here are some highlights of recent coverage:
On CBS Las Vegas, political analyst Steve Sebelius claimed that Sisolak has “a lot of making up to do” after spending “almost all” of his money in an “incredibly bitter primary.” He also compared the divide between Sisolak and Giunchigliani to that of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, warning that Giunchigliani’s supporters may not back Sisolak in the general election:
Columnist Ric Anderson expressed similar sentiments in The Las Vegas Sun, noting that Sisolak’s primary win “took months and cost millions” while Republican nominee Adam Laxalt “goes into the general election with a leg up”:
“Sisolak won tonight in the Democratic primary for Nevada governor, but the victory took months and cost millions — more than Gov. Brian Sandoval spent through both the primary and the general election in winning his first term.
And now, having poured $6.3 million into convincing Democrat voters he was a progressive, he faces the dual challenge of replenishing his resources and convincing voters across parties that he’s a moderate.
Oh, and one more thing: His Republican opponent in November, Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, comes into the general election campaign like a battle tank.
Laxalt, facing light competition, spent the equivalent of couch-cushion change in crushing his competition in the GOP primary…
Meanwhile, while it probably won’t happen, Laxalt should send a gift package to Giunchigliani. Thanks to her, he goes into the general election with a leg up.”
The Hill also took note of Laxalt’s strong position heading into the general election, emphasizing his “hefty” cash advantage after Sisolak was forced to spend $6.3 million just to win over voters of his own party:
“In an address to supporters Tuesday night, Laxalt called Sisolak a ‘career politician who has spent decades complaining about the problems, and little time getting to work on the solutions.’ He cast November’s election as a choice between ‘real solutions or a radical agenda that would take our unique state the way of California.’
Laxalt begins the sprint to November with a hefty cash advantage, after Sisolak spent more than $6.3 million to win his primary. Laxalt has raised about $6.7 million since the beginning of 2017 and spent about $3 million, according to filings with the Nevada Secretary of State’s Office.”