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December 21, 2014

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Republicans wish Sandoval would spend more political capital on Romney

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Christopher DeVargas

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval at right, address supporters during a campaign rally at a local business, Tuesday May 29, 2012.

Privately, some Republicans have kept up a steady drumbeat of questioning on why Gov. Brian Sandoval hasn’t done more to campaign for GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.

Still, few have gone on record to criticize Sandoval for seeming wary of putting his own popularity rating on the line in the presidential race.

But after one of Sandoval’s top political advisers predicted Romney would lose Nevada, and now that the race is down to the wire, some are starting to go public with their criticism.

“What I wish would happen is that Gov. Sandoval would be out there more active in support of the Romney ticket,” Republican consultant Robert Uithoven, who ran former Gov. Jim Gibbons’ 2006 campaign, said in an interview for To the Point.

“I love the fact he’s out there doing television ads for Dean Heller. But if we have a governor as popular as Sandoval—68 percent approval rating—I think he could make a 2 percent difference in this race by cutting an ad for Mitt Romney.”

Sandoval has consistently articulated support for the Republican presidential ticket. But he’s appeared at only one campaign rally with Romney and has done little other advertising or retail politicking to help the ticket.

By contrast, Sandoval has appeared in a television advertisement for U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, who is in a tight race with Democrat Shelley Berkley, and raised substantial amounts of money for state Senate Republicans.

Romney’s trips to Nevada typically have very little advance planning. Twice Sandoval’s previously planned travel prevented him from attending rallies with Romney.

But this week, Sandoval’s informal political adviser Pete Ernaut told Nevada Newsmakers host Sam Shad that he believes President Barack Obama will win the Silver State by a narrow margin. The comment made national news, and prompted Sandoval’s paid political adviser to put out an opposing statement.

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

The comment also seemed to prompt Sandoval to use his Twitter feed a little more extensively to promote Romney.

“Mitt Romney clearly has the momentum here in Nevada,” Sandoval tweeted this week, after Ernaut’s comment aired.

“Governor Romney will carry Nevada and be next President. He has my full support.”

One day later, Sandoval tweeted a request for volunteers to help Romney during early voting.

With little more than a week until Election Day, the public metrics appear dim for Romney, who nevertheless continues to spend considerable resources in Nevada. Romney hasn’t posted a lead in a single public poll conducted since the general election began.

Democrats have a striking 90,000 voter registration advantage and have been turning out their early voters at a faster clip than Republicans.

But Romney hasn’t given up on the state. He and his running mate Paul Ryan campaigned in Nevada this week and the campaign continues to spend money on television advertising.

By this point four years ago, Republican nominee John McCain had largely given up on Nevada, keeping a core of staff members here and sending running mate Sarah Palin to give a last minute speech, but otherwise focusing on other states.

This year, however, Romney isn’t constrained by limited resources and has been free to continue spending heavily in states where he may still have a chance.

Even those in his own party, however, aren’t sounding optimistic.

“I think a lot of people are making that assessment,” Uithoven said of Ernaut’s prediction. “I don’t think Pete is alone in making that assessment.”

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  1. Sandoval does not do anything for the State of Nevada. He is only the Governor??? Why would he do anything for Ruinme?

  2. @BeSafer...

    "I think Romney told Sandoval to stand-down because of the illegal votes he would bring in."

    Ha ha ha ha!!!
    Thank you, for that bit;
    LOL!!!!

  3. Governor Brian Sandoval is not stupid. He can recognize a wounded and dying campaign.

    Plus, our governor is not going to support a campaign that is lying to the America People.

  4. I think it's hilarious the GOoPers are coming out with this.

    The last time Sandoval was with Romney was on a stage with his Lieutenant Governor (Krolicki) and Trump.

    That Kodak moment basically implied that all of those people who showed up on the stage with Trump all basically stated, by just proximity, that they all sympathized with Trump and his nutball views.

    In essence, they are all birthers now.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty sure Sandoval wants no part of Trump's vendetta against President Obama and the crazy stuff he says, but Sandoval is no dummy. He's a political savvy guy who is more interested in running interference for his mining/casino interests. More so than birther junk.

    So, with that backfire, Sandoval has decided to stay back. Hoping that when the dust settles, he can move in and make political points.

    But I say it's not going to help Sandoval. He can hide it all he wants, but indications show he is a party politicker only interested in himself. A good example of this is that Nevada has about 22 percent of its people without any sufficient health coverage, but Sandoval immediately fought back against the government initially on their help. By doing this, he signalled he was in charge of the death camp called Nevada. But after unrelenting pressure, he finally caved in.

    I don't trust Sandoval. Never have.

    Obama/Biden 2012! AND a Democratic Party majority in both the House and the Senate!

    After that, sights are set on getting rid of Sandoval and this incredible fourteen year run of Tea/Republican Governors that get Nevada nowhere.

  5. Never mind Romney, do something for Nevada. Very typical, blame somebody else for things you could or should be doing for our state.

  6. Sandoval has two more years before 14,000 state employees vote his lazy ass out. He hasn't helped this state, why would he help anyone else?

  7. For 13 years no GOP Governor has helped this state. It shows in how hard we were devastated finacially during all of this. They sat there and fill there pockets without ever a thought the bubble was bursting. Please use election time wisely. GO FORWARD AND SQUEEZE THE TOP. IT IS THE ONLY WAY TO FIX THIS NATION AND STATE'S BUDGET. We deserve better. GOP investment in this nation has FAILED FOR ALL OF US. Bring the Middle Class back. We are what made this nation strong. FORWARD we have no time to go back.