(Sean Whaley/Nevada News Bureau) – GOP Nevada U.S. Senate candidate John Chachas will stay in the race through the June primary despite a poor showing in a recent poll, saying today those results did not fully reflect a television ad campaign he initiated only recently.
Chachas, in an interview on the Nevada NewsMakers television program, said his own internal polling numbers show him with “considerably higher numbers,” although he did not specify his level of support among Republican voters.
Despite front-runner Sue Lowden’s showing of 45 percent in a recent Las Vegas Review-Journal poll, Chachas said he will continue in his campaign to focus on substantive issues that others are not talking about. The race right now is focused more on sound bites that substance, he said.
Chachas, an investment banker raised in Ely, said he believes the view held by many that U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid cannot win re-election is “overplayed.”
“Harry Reid believes that with 44, 45 percent of the vote, he can win,” Chachas said. “He believes it particularly if he has the wrong Republican candidate on the other side.”
The wrong candidate is one who cannot appeal to Nevada independents, Libertarians and Ron Paul supporters, he said.
“They’re disenfranchised by the Republican brand and the Democratic brand and they are independent thinkers,” Chachas said.
Chachas said if Reid gets strong Democratic support and picks up some support from nonpartisan voters and the GOP candidate cannot draw enough support from these other voting blocs, Reid, “is playing a hand where he can win.”
“I think, when it gets right down to it, that I have a place at this table speaking to those folks about economic issues and how to turn the government around and make it responsive to the people again,” he said.
Chachas did not mention her by name, but Lowden does not have support from at least some Ron Paul supporters after they alleged she used her position as chairwoman of the Nevada State Republican Party to thwart them from being chosen as delegates to the 2008 Republican presidential convention.
Asked for a response, Lowden Campaign Manager Robert Uithoven said: “No matter how recent any candidate has moved to Nevada or has been registered to vote here, I would hope they would have a subscription of our local newspapers. In them, they will read that Sue Lowden has led Harry Reid in 17 consecutive polls, including one that was published just days ago in the Las Vegas Review-Journal – showing that Sue Lowden beats Harry Reid by double-digits, even with the full slate of general election candidates on the ballot.”
Chachas also responded to a question about whether a contribution he made to the Obama campaign will hurt him among Nevada Republican voters.
Chachas said it was a tactical move, but called it “one of my better blunders in life.” Chachas said he was raising nearly $70,000 for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the time and believed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was a more formidable opponent. He gave $2,300 in late 2007 to then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.
“Does it hurt me?” he said. “There are people who are dogmatic for whom that is a terrible thing to give a dollar to any Democrat. It is the only Democratic donation I’ve made in my entire life.”