OK, before we get to “Messaging” – #4 on my list of seven things Nevada Republicans need to do to get their mojo back for the 2020 campaign cycle – I need to further comment on #3: The messengers.
Now, conventional wisdom – propagated by many high-priced consultants, liberal pundits and egghead political science professors – would have you believe that all Republicans need to do is run more women and minority candidates.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying DON’T run women and minority candidates and stick with nothing but white males. That would be dumb.
I’m just saying that’s not some kind of magic elixir that will heal all that ails the GOP. And shouldn’t be.
Frankly, I don’t care if a candidate is a man or a woman. Gay or straight. Black or white. Brown or yellow. Pink or polka dot. It…just…doesn’t…matter.
When you get right down to it, as a conservative I really only care about two things in evaluating a candidate: (1) Do they support limited government and individual freedom, and (2) can they win?
Now, since Part II of this series came out, appointments to fill vacant seats have resulted in the 2019 Nevada Legislature having a majority of women for the first time in history.
This, of course, was celebrated by those who celebrate identity politics as the greatest achievement since Moses parted the Red Sea.
But since elections are really all about what direction our governments will go, this monumental achievement isn’t something for conservatives and Republicans to do the Snoopy Dance over. Here’s why…
Of the 32 women who will be serving in the 2019 Nevada Legislature, only six of them are Republicans. And of those six Republican women, only two, maybe three, are principled conservatives.
So…when government grows, your taxes go up and your individual freedoms shrink, are you going to feel better because women did it instead of men?
But, but, but, Chuck…doesn’t that just prove Republicans need to run more women?
Again, no. Not necessarily. Here, I’ll prove it…
The two most competitive state Senate races in 2018 were in Districts 8 and 9 in Clark County. In both races the GOP candidates were conservative women. And in both races, they lost.
In the state Assembly, the only race where Republicans had a realistic shot at picking up a seat held by a Democrat – District 31 in Washoe County – the GOP candidate was a conservative woman and the Democrat candidate was a white man.
Again, the Republican lost.
And again, don’t get me wrong.
These three conservative women didn’t lose because they were women. They lost because their “professional” bonehead consultants ran crappy races with crappy messaging.
But, but, but, Chuck…doesn’t that prove Republicans need to run moderate candidates, man or woman, instead of conservatives if they ever hope to win again?
Nope. And I’ll prove it.
There were seven statewide races on the ballot in Nevada in 2018: U.S. Senate, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer and Controller.
And Republicans won only one of them.
Barbara Cegavske for Secretary of State.
A conservative. A proven, known conservative.
So much for the notion that conservatives can’t win…even in the face of a “blue wave.”
Oh, and get this: Barbara didn’t hire a “professional” political consultant to run her race!
So, what have we learned today, class?
We’ve learned that simply imitating Democrats and playing the Identity Politics Game is NOT the automatic path out of the abyss for the GOP.
You see, it doesn’t matter if a candidate is a man or a woman or a transgender; gay or straight; white, black, brown, yellow, orange, indigo or violet; Mormon, Catholic, Protestant, Jew or Muslim; Hispanic, Asian, African or even French.
The ONLY thing that matters is whether or not they have the ability to sell their candidacy and their campaign to a majority of voters on Election Day regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or religion.
And that’s all about messaging…which is what we’ll get to next week in Part IV of this series.
Stay tuned, Batfans…and Merry Christmas!