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tv   Campaign 2020 Interview with Nevada Political Reporter Jon Ralston  CSPAN  July 15, 2020 5:01pm-5:14pm EDT

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joining us from las vegas is someone the editor of "nevada independent." as you look at their race campaign 2020 about three and a half months before the election give us in your words the political lay of a land between joe biden and president donald trump. >> eide has an advantage here. the democrats have a formidable machine. the last three cycles they won the presidential race and hillary clinton be donald trump by 2.5 points although was closer than i would pick as the race essentially was over after
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early voting which lasted weeks. biden is ahead in polls slightly outside the margin of error in recent polling data hasn't been a lot of public polling that the democrats have a substantial registration advantage which they have for many years now including 154,000 voters or so in clark county which is where las vegas has 70% of the votes. very difficult for republicans to win statewide in nevada with that kind of firewall the democrats have in clark county. >> host: seems so long ago the nevada caucuses in which senator bernie sanders won handily with about what he presented the democratic vote many people were beginning to write up joe biden. so much has changed since then. what about this report in the banda -- nevada and the
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democratic nature biden? >> guest: it's an interesting question. sanders won here essentially in a landslide over joe biden. it is a caucus may calculate the most differently but it's interesting the biden team took that as a second-place second place finish after its disastrous showing in iowa and new hampshire to springboard south carolina and the rest is history but the progressive wing of the democratic party here is not much different than the left-wing of the democratic party elsewhere. i think the imperative to be donald trump, trump so to speak there is potential disaffection with joe biden and there's disappointment in bernie sanders not aimed the nominee but that of course is going to be the key for biden across the country being able to go and do what's hillary clinton in some ways was able to do which is get the far
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left excited to turn out for him. >> host: how important is the vp pick for democrats in nevada? >> guest: i thank all of you afcap oculus has changed in the sense that since the george floyd killing, the african-american community is a minority community here has really been at it especially on social media in arguing an african-american woman should be on the ticket so i think there'll be some disappointment if biden does not pick a kamala harris or val demings or someone like that but i have to tell you steve you and i have been around way too long. vice presidential picks generally do not make a huge difference and they think more than any election that we have seen in some time that biden is going to be following the hippocratic oath of politics
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which is do no harm with that pit. >> host: a lot of speculation early on or one of your home state senators cortez masto. >> she took our name out of consideration. with the back story of why? >> guest: i've known our for 40 years and if it can be said of a politician attorney general and the u.s. senator she is to some extent apolitical. i don't think she's ever had any interest in being on the vice president so take it with biden think she was flattered by the attention and i think there were good reasons to say based on my aforementioned do no harm policy that she would have been good if she's very smart, she's careful and she's disciplined but she's also the head of the democratic senatorial campaign committee and she has invested a lot of time and that even though that's not really our wheel out troops she did not want the distraction of being taken away from that
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and i just don't think it's something that she's ever really wanted. she is doing good being a u.s. senator for most of our adult life. she has that job now and i think she loves it. >> host: of course we preface this with a lot can happen between now and election day but when you talk to democrats here in washington jon ralston a lot of speculation that they could recapture control of the u.s. senate in november. what would that mean for you to democratic senators in nevada? >> it's a really good question because kathleen cortez masto and jackie rosen work just elected last two cycles through they are not very high in seniority in the minority right now but if the democrats retake the senate kathleen cortez masto is the head of the senatorial campaign committee would get some credit for that in our standing would rise in the u.s. senate. jackie rosen would be only in our second part of our first
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term so she probably wouldn't have that much influence but if kathleen cortez masto was up in the ranks that would help jackie rosen in nevada as well. for many years the small state like nevada really couldn't do much until harry reid became one of the most powerful people in the history of the state becoming minority majority leader of the u.s. senate and i'm sure he's talked to kathleen cortez masto about that as he anointed our to replace him. >> host: it is nevada a swing state? >> it's a great question steve and i wrote a column after the last election saying that the data is a blue state state and wasn't the republicans who are upset with me was actually the democrats because if you were declared a blue state than you aren't going to get as much investment from the national party and the democrats want to keep saying that data is in play. now listen its still 100 days or
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so for early voting starting in nevada and you can't say anything for sure but nevada is a very happily leaning blue state. i saw that harry reid recently actually was interviewed and advise biden to invest here so clearly he is worried as a still behind-the-scenes kingmaker in nevada that the national democrats -- the democrats dominate the state and there's only one republican statewide elected official and that's the secretary of state who pretty much has to act as a nonpartisan. the legislatures controlled by almost supermajority by democrats. they dominate the states of the state is clearly a very lean blue state that the local democratic party does not want to lose the resources during the presidential campaign so they will keep saying swing state. it's very difficult to make that argument anymore.
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>> host: a year that's going to be a mic any other in terms of how the candidates campaign. so far most of it virtually. it's not meaning to candidates like joe biden and donald trump are campaigning in person by a thin on the ground effort much of it done virtually or through advertising correct? >> guest: you're absolutely right and it's all about voter registration which i mentioned earlier the democrats have a sizable advantage. in-person campaigning isn't going to do much at this point. going to be difficult. as we sit here we don't know what the pandemic is going to be like for the next month and how it will limit or not limit campaigning that money matters in politics in money spent wisely specially now and don't forget it's still not clear whether what they did in the recent june primary year which was mostly male balloting is going to occur in the general
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election or what the impact of that will be on both parties. >> host: you can't talk about nevada without talking about entertainment or the gaming industry and the impact that this has the coronavirus pandemic on tourism. give us a snapshot of the economy in nevada. >> guest: the economy is absolute devastated here because it's so dependent on that few miles of road on las vegas boulevard south on the las vegas strip and it was shut down for a couple of months. it has now reopened although some places more than others and some are thinking about furling employees again. the legislature is as we sit here in the special session trying to figure out how to fill a $1.2 billion budget hole because they are so dependent in this state so dependent on gaming and sales taxes. i could make an argument that
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would hurt disproportionately any other state by what has happened because the economy is so reliant on tourism. >> host: jon ralston is the editor of "nevada independent" joining us from las vegas. thanks for joining us on c-span. >> guest: thank you.
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campaigning today for hearing on the majors task for higher education. congress can help students in institutions cope with covid-19. this is a completely virtual hearing. witnesses and members participating should be muted. members and witnesses will be responsible that they are co


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