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Friday, September 22, 2023


Nevada faces fierce election battle

Nevada is in a bad place right now. The Silver State leads the nation with its 14 percent unemployment rate, and the local economy shows no signs of bouncing back. The view from Las Vegas, the state’s largest city (and my home) is grim. It is nearly impossible to find a family or business that the recession has not affected in some way: lost jobs, cut hours, reduced wages.

Nevadans are placing the blame for this on the shoulders of both the state and national government. Everyone who is currently in office has become unpopular. Most specifically, local conservatives are targeting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat who has represented Nevada in the Senate since 1986.

Senator Reid is running for re-election in November, and his Republican opponent, relatively unknown Sharron Angle, currently has a seven-point lead in polls. The only reason Angle has the lead she does and a chance at winning the election is Reid’s lack of popularity. Both candidates will have to fight hard and dirty if they want to win.

Politically, Sharron Angle’s extremely conservative views and tendency to say the wrong thing make her an awful choice for the Republican Party. In a January interview, Angle all but called to assassinate her opponent. Immediately after mentioning that people were beginning to look for Second Amendment (the one which concerns the right to bear arms) remedies to the current government, Angle stated that “the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.”

Angle’s ideology—so far to the right she is nearly falling off the grid—is not popular in Nevada outside her rural corner of the state. In fact, her views are so extreme that her campaign Web site was completely revamped after she won the Republican primary, with her views on most issues either softened or removed entirely. Things described in her original Web site, like phasing out Social Security, dissolving the Department of Education and withdrawing from the United Nations, are all conspicuously absent in her current one.

To hide Angle’s obvious ideological issues, her campaign committee has chosen to run attack ads blaming Harry Reid for Nevada’s high unemployment rate; simply pointing out the extreme change in rates during Reid’s time as senator, then promises that “help is on the way.”

Of course, that promise is, according to Angle herself, completely bogus. On multiple occasions, Angle has said that creating jobs is not the job of a U.S. Senator. Reid, on the other hand, was able to throw a campaign rally featuring President Obama at the Aria Resort & Casino in downtown Las Vegas. The Aria, one of the most gorgeous casinos on the strip, would never have been built, and thousands of construction and hospitality jobs never created, if not for Reid’s direct involvement.

In order to win the senate race, all Reid has to do is remind Nevadans of the good he has done for the state, while Angle has to hope Nevada voters forget to do their research.

Casey Goodwin is a mechanical engineering sophomore and can be reached at [email protected]

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