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election 2012:

Sandoval’s political adviser predicts Romney will lose Nevada

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Pete Ernaut

Updated Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012 | 8:30 p.m.

One of Gov. Brian Sandoval’s top political advisers is predicting Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney will lose Nevada this year.

In an interview on "Nevada Newsmakers," Republican political adviser Pete Ernaut said Nevada’s split-ticket voters will likely side with both President Barack Obama and Republican Sen. Dean Heller.

“I think Obama will carry the state somewhere (between 1-3 percentage points), something like that, and I think that is the margin of victory for Heller,” Ernaut said.

A second Sandoval political adviser, Mike Slanker who is a paid consultant, disputed Ernaut's comments, which received national attention.

"Pete and I have known each other for a long time and usually we agree," Slanker said in a written statement. "But on this one I couldn't disagree more. Mitt Romney has the momentum and will carry Nevada."

Ernaut, a lobbyist for R&R Partners, is one of Sandoval’s closest political advisers. Although he doesn’t involve himself in many political campaigns now, Ernaut was one of two advisers who talked with Sandoval about leaving the federal bench to run for governor. He is a former Republican lawmaker, former chief of staff to the late Gov. Kenny Guinn and former executive director of the Republican Assembly Caucus.

Sandoval is one of the most popular politicians in the state, but has been largely absent from Romney’s campaign trail — a conspicuous absence given Romney’s tough fight in one of the country’s most critical battleground states.

Sandoval appeared at one early-season rally with Romney, but hasn’t acted as much of a surrogate for the campaign. Instead, Sandoval seems to be focusing his attention on both Heller’s race — even appearing in a television campaign ad with Heller — and raising money to aid Republicans' effort to take back the state Senate.

“I don’t think there's a Romney-Berkley voting bloc, but there’s clearly an Obama-Heller voting bloc,” Ernaut said in the "Nevada Newsmakers" interview. “I actually made the prediction that I think the margin of victory will be similar.”

Ernaut said he questioned how many of Democrats' newly registered voters will turn out to vote, but said the party’s wide registration advantage is a problem for the Republican ticket.

“Not to be a stickler on basic math, but when you’ve got 140,000 plus more of the other guys than your guys, you’ve got a problem,” he said.

Romney is amid a two-day campaign swing to rally supporters in Reno and Henderson as Nevada voters begin to cast ballots in the state’s critical early voting period.

Top elected Republicans spoke at Romney’s rally in Henderson today, but Sandoval is out of the country. He’ll also miss Romney’s rally in Reno on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for Sandoval said his trip to Canada for economic development meetings was planned months ago.

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  1. I'm a registered Democrat and I voted for Romney at early voting so it doesn't matter. Theres more people voting republican than you think. A political adviser for a republican gov. leading people to vote for Obama,they will vote for Obama just because someone told them he would win, you should be fired by our gov. You are not smart enough to be his adviser, let alone a Republican. If we can't get someone better than Obama to run in the Democratic party I will continue to vote Republican

  2. How could anybody in this state vote for Obama after he trashed Las Vegas twice and told tourists not to come here?

    It's insulting that anybody in Clark County would support him after he said what he said about us.

    He has given no apology and no explanation for what he said.

  3. Re WILDWEST: spot on.

    Re TomD1228: spot on.

    Re bimmerdude: spot on.

    Romney: The candidate with no moral compass, a flip flopping, prevaricating, obfuscating HOLLOW MAN candidate.

    Re Bruce Peterman: you WASTED your vote. Please change your party affiliation to Republican; do us all a favor.

  4. PS to my earlier post; Sandoval is a political opportunist hack. He endorsed Rick Perry for President, and now he's endorsing a Norquist drone, and GOP automatic party line voter in Dean Heller. LOL.

  5. Bob Coburn,

    Please show me a single quote from the President that he told tourists not to come to Las Vegas.

    He told companies that the government bailed out not be blowing that money in Vegas. He told people not to blow their kids college savings in Vegas but I never heard him tell a single tourist not to come here. Both of those statements seem pretty responsible to me.

  6. GREAT! Glad to be moving from a blue state to "new" blue Nevada!

  7. This adviser and Sandoval ought to be ashamed for not appearing with Mitt. The best revenge for the horrors of Obama and his anti-American domestic and foreign policies would be to vote for Heller and Mitt to make sure the most alien Prez in our history is ousted.

  8. Reading these Republican commenters shows exactly why the GOP is in decline. Any Republican that dares speak the truth and you will receive an onslaught of hate. Don't dare challenge the 'big lie', keep in line and march in order. Nazi type hatred, disgusting.

    This is why I changed parties to a Democrat in 2003 and for the first time in my life voted a 'party ticket' all Democrats.

  9. I have to hand it to him. Ernaut is one of the very few Tea/Republican Party members to make sense.

    Because he has grasped reality and has chosen to break away from the pack of Fox News watchers/Rush Limbaugh listeners.

    All indications show, all the way from early voting results, absentee ballots and early polls, that Romney lost Nevada. Even some national broadcasting agencies have removed Nevada from the list of nine so called swing States.

    Obama/Biden 2012!

    Romney/Ryan 1040s please! Next time you come to Las Vegas, bring your Federal Income Tax Returns! We want to find out what you are going to extraordinary lengths to hide....

  10. With all the distortion and skewing, it looks like R & R are in for a landslide. The liberal media is saying it's a dead heat with an approximate 8% markup / inflation for the incumbent. So the real numbers are closer to 54 : 46. I see Romney signs in front yards. Haven't seen an Obama sign. The nationals say Nevada is lost because of incoherent union voters and long-time illegals claiming voter rights. Are we exclusively a Sanctuary state or still part of America?

  11. Groovy.... Romney, RULES!!!

  12. I really hate to interrupt the right wingers who are happily humping each other's legs and proclaiming victory, but this just in...

    So far, four days into early voting, Democrats have cast 50 percent of the ballots, Tea/Republicans 33 percent, and independent, non-partisan voters 17 percent.

    Democratic Party voters outnumber Tea/Republicans every single day of early voting in both the large counties of Clark and Washoe. And it even shows the majority of absentee ballots have been cast by the Democrats.

    The voting trend is actually slightly better than in 2008. Even Tea/Republicans are voting more this time, but it's still not enough for them to gain any ground against President Obama.

    I call it that our President gets another four years. I just hope there is a down ballot effect.

    Even the national television news (excluding Fox News) has removed Nevada from the list of nine crucial swing States. It's solidly placed in Obama/Biden column as far as they are concerned.

  13. I don't claim to know who will win Nevada, but if the dems are leading, it could be beacuse people are starting to realize that the republican party's aptitude for fakery and hypocrisy actually exceeds that of the democrat's.

  14. From what I've seen, most people that support Obama aren't too loud about it because of the fanatical Obama haters. I was forced to listen to this Romney fanatic at McDonald's this morning and frankly, he was scary. I'm an independent and only voted for 1 republican this year. It wasn't at the top of the ticket that's for sure.

  15. I think the next election will be a battle of the Brian's: Sandoval (R) vs Schweitzer (D)

  16. It's a shame that many have been sold a bill of goods and likely will vote for indentured servitude. Fortunately just as many vote for America first choosing not to sing the praises of the 'what's in it for me' crowd.

    The real reason we are a divided nation is that we have two competing theories of government at work" Socialism and our Republican form of Democracy.

    The right wants to create a country with freedoms that allow anyone to succeed based upon their desire and determination, within the law. The left wants to control what, when, where and how much you can be, despite the law.

  17. I always laugh to myself when Republicans refer to themselves as the freedom party. You want to dictate who can marry whom and what a women can do with their bodies. You want to kick out every single person that is in this country illegally even if they were born here, contribute to the economy, go to college, or serve in the military. Stop pretending you're about Freedom. Libertarians are about freedom, Republicans are about big business and the religous right.

  18. You hit the nail on the head Jerry.