Sabatos Crystal Ball

Nevada Races

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Nevada (Open Seat)

Outlook: Leans Republican


November 8, 2006 Update:

As the Crystal Ball predicted, Congressman Jim Gibbons (R) defeated Dina Titus (D) with 48% of the vote.

August 2, 2006 Update:

The focus in this state is not the governor’s race, but rather the mysterious death of state controller Kathy Augustine, who was running for state treasurer. We won’t get into the gory details, but our guess is that political races will be secondary to this investigation for at least a few weeks.

As for the governorship, right now the race appears static, with Congressman Jim Gibbons remaining the favorite to win in the fall. But if Mayor Jim Gibson manages to upset state Senator Dina Titus, this race could become quite competitive. Titus is still considered the Democratic frontrunner, however.

June 1, 2006 Update:

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman is not running, and Republican Congressman Jim Gibbons still leads the field for the primary and the general.

March 27, 2006 Update:

Our Democratic sources in Nevada reluctantly concede that Republican Congressman Jim Gibbons is at least a slight favorite to succeed his nemesis, fellow GOPer Kenny Guinn. Many Democrats seem to believe that Dina Titus, the likely Democratic nominee, is too liberal to win in the general election. We’ll see, and Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman continues to tantalize with a possible candidacy.

Update:

Just as the Crystal Ball has consistently predicted for a year, Congressman Jim Gibbons (R) and State Senate Majority Leader Dina Titus (D) emerged from the Nevada primaries on August 15 with their respective party’s nominations for Governor. Both won comfortably over multi-candidate fields, Gibbons with 48 percent and Titus with 54 percent. To be blunt, neither one is viewed enthusiastically by many in their own parties. Also, both are closer to the ideological poles than Nevada voters generally prefer–Gibbons to the right and Titus to the left. At the starting gate, we give Gibbons the edge, but Nevada has become a more competitive state recently so Gibbons will have to work for his victory.


Background

With two-term GOP Governor Kenny Guinn term-limited, the focus has shifted to his likely successor, Republican Congressman Jim Gibbons. Only Gibbons can defeat Gibbons, but the congressman’s loose tongue makes that a reasonable bet for the roulette table in Las Vegas.

It is already clear that Governor Guinn does not like Congressman Gibbons at all. In fact, it was Guinn who encouraged Lt. Governor Lorraine Hunt to run against Gibbons for the Republican nomination. Though Gibbons remains the clear favorite, stay tuned to see how this intra-party scuffle shapes the campaign.

The Democrats are likely to pick state senator Dina Titus as their nominee, though current Henderson mayor Jim Gibson could give her a run for her money. Some people have mentioned Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman for the Democratic nomination as well, and were he to run, he would be a very serious candidate.

At the moment, Gibbons is the most likely next governor, but it is early and this race is more unsettled than expected.

Candidates

Dina Titus – Democrat – current state senator since 1989, state senate minority floor leader since 1993
Website

Jim Gibbons – Republican – current U.S. Congressman
Website

Christopher Hansen – Independent – IAP state party chair, frequent candidate, affiliated with the Independent American Party
Website