Two CNN hosts demonstrated a surprising amount of self-awareness on Friday when analyzing why a Republican defeated Nevada’s Democratic incumbent governor.
On Friday Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) conceded to Republican Joe Lombardo after the Associated Press declared Lombardo the winner. Lombardo, the sheriff of Clark County, won by 2.3%, or approximately 22,000 votes.
What did the hosts say?
Reacting to Sisolak’s defeat, CNN anchors Dana Bash and Abby Phillip suggested that aggressive pandemic restrictions pushed voters away from Sisolak.
“This sort of bucks the trend of what we have seen in the governors races since Election Day, which is Democrats have done well,” Bash said. ‘This is not one.
“This is an incumbent Democrat who has actually been defeated in a state that was hit incredibly hard by COVID because, of course, Las Vegas in particular is so tourist and tourism-focused,” she noted.
Phillip agreed, noting that just because Democrats are pro-union does not mean their policies are pro-worker — and workers in Nevada’s tourism-based economy were hit particularly hard by COVID lockdown policies.
“One of the challenges going into this, as we’ve been discussing when it comes to the Senate race, is that the unions, which are a huge part of how Democrats get out the vote — it’s a huge part of their constituency — a lot of those workers were hit hard in ways that are hard to define with the numbers,” Phillip said.
“The jobs came back, but not the ones that they had before. And so there was a lot of unsatisfaction with how that went in Nevada,” she observed.
Part of Lombardo’s successful campaign message, in fact, was connecting the economic downturn to pandemic lockdown policies, the Wall Street Journal explained.
“We were caught up in the Covid malaise and the economy…much longer than we should have been,” Lombardo said at a debate last month.
Indeed, it was not until May of this year that Sisolak allowed the COVID-19 pandemic emergency in Nevada to end.
The race for Nevada’s U.S. Senate seat between Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) and Republican Adam Laxalt remains incredibly close.
As of Saturday morning, Laxalt leads by fewer than 1,000 votes with 95% of the vote counted.