Late Tuesday night National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Pete Sessions painted the Republican win in the special election in Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District as a snapshot of the problems Democrats will face in 2012.
“Democrats just saw their 2012 playbook fall apart as Nevada voters refused to buy Democrats’ Medicare scare tactics and misinformation campaigns,” Sessions wrote in a statement. “This election sends Democrats another warning that Democrats up and down the ballot next year cannot escape accountability for their failed economic policies.”
Medicare policy was a major focus in the ad war between Democrat Kate Marshall and Republican Mark Amodei, but the issue was not as effective for Democrats in Nevada as it was in the special election in New York’s 26th Congressional District earlier this year. In NY-26, Democrat Kathy Hochul pulled off a surprising upset in a Republican district.
“Nevadans have handed an unpopular President Obama and his party yet another rejection message for making a bad economy worse,” Sessions added.
The Nevada Republican Party took a similar tack, calling the election a rejection of the Democratic agenda.
“Mark Amodei’s election is a resounding rejection of the Obama–Reid–Pelosi agenda and of bigger, more expansive and overreaching government,” said Nevada GOP chairwoman Amy Tarkanian.
Democrats pointed out that Marshall was not expected to win, but they still did not drop the Medicare issue. (RELATED: Republican wins in Nevada House special election)
“Kate Marshall fought tirelessly to win a special election in a heavily Republican district that no Democrat has ever won,” said Nevada Democratic Party Chair Roberta Lange.
“We look forward to electing Democrats in the upcoming general election across the state to fight to get Nevadans back to work and protect Nevada seniors from Washington Republicans who are trying to kill Medicare by turning it over to private insurance companies.”
Marshall communications director James Hallinan was upbeat: “Kate Marshall addressed her supporters and volunteers and started out by being extremely grateful for the grassroots support for her campaign, the thousands and thousands of volunteer hours, and the huge percentage of grass roots donations – 97 percent in the last reporting period.”
Marshall faced an uphill battle in the race and was not expected to win since the district has been Republican since its inception. She received no help from national Democrats. And though she outraised her opponent, the NRCC and American Crossroads poured large amounts of money into the race in support of Amodei — money that Marshall’s campaign could not match.
Democrats also lost in the special election in New York’s 9th Congressional District on Tuesday, a race where the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had devoted significant resources.