Tuesday, June 22, 2010 | 10:49 a.m.
What does any political campaign worth its salt do when it trails the opposing candidate by more than 20 points? It works to engage the opponent in a fray that might chip away at that lead in the polls.
And what does the campaign in the lead do? Ignores.
It’s the dynamic that has come to define the early days of the general election match up in the governor’s race between Republican Brian Sandoval and Democrat Rory Reid.
Reid has held two press conferences and issued multiple press releases designed to harangue Sandoval enough that he’ll engage in a debate on education, an issue the Democrat sees as one of his keys to victory in November.
Today, Reid issued the latest press release keeping up the theme that Sandoval’s education plan would force the state to layoff 20 percent of its teachers. The Reid campaign bases that assertion on the plan Sandoval released earlier this year to address the state’s immediate budget shortfall before the special session.
It’s a claim Reid has been making for the past two weeks. Today, they took the new tack of breaking out those layoff numbers into region, claiming Washoe County would lose 724 teachers and Clark County would lose 3,225 teachers.
Of course, they come up with the numbers by extrapolating figures off of how much Sandoval said he would cut in teacher salaries and class-size reduction funding for an immediate budget hole that’s already been fixed. We’ve yet to hear from Sandoval on what he would do for the larger budget shortfall facing the state next year. Sandoval has commented on education, saying he wants to promote school choice through vouchers, increase accountability and end social promotion and teacher tenure. But he hasn’t yet put out an education plan.
But the more the Reid campaign keeps on with the line Sandoval wants to fire teachers, the quicker Sandoval will be forced to address it.