Nevada: Pro-Life Amodei Takes on Pro-Abortion Marshall

State   |   Andrew Bair   |   Aug 25, 2011   |   5:30PM   |   Carson City, NV

Republicans are hoping to reverse a streak of losses in special elections with the upcoming special in Nevada’s 2nd Congressional district. Next Tuesday, pro-life State Senator Mark Amodei (R) will face off against pro-abortion Treasurer Kate Marshall (D). The contrast between the candidates is stark. Amodei is endorsed by National Right to Life PAC and Nevada Right to Life PAC. Marshall is endorsed by EMILY’s List.

National Right to Life PAC issued a comparison piece on the candidates’ positions, noting Amodei’s opposition to abortion-on-demand, the Obama healthcare law and taxpayer funding of abortion.

Nevada Right to Life PAC issued this statement on Kate Marshall’s endorsement by EMILY’s List: “Nevada Right to Life PAC cannot support a candidate for office who wins the endorsement of such a devoted pro-abortion organization.  Pro-life voters in Nevada should cast their ballot for a candidate who recognizes the intrinsic value of human life. That vote, then, should not be for Kate Marshall.”

Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling issued poll results showing Amodei leading Marshall by just one percentage point. (43%-42%) The poll was conducted on behalf of the liberal Daily Kos and SEIU. However, Republican pollster Magellan Data and Mapping Strategies showed Amodei up 48%-35%. Many political analysts are giving the momentum to Amodei and Democratic strategists are downplaying expectations. According to one Democratic strategist, undecided voters are just not breaking their way. The true numbers are probably somewhere in between but regardless; the race will be a tight one right up to the finish.

The NV-2 special election is a vastly different scenario from the special election in Republican-leaning NY-26 where Democrats were victorious due to a three-way race dividing the conservative vote. Unlike in New York, where Democrats hammered her on issues like Medicare, they have not been successful in moving numbers their way with the same tactics in Nevada. On the other hand, Amodei has been successful at driving up Marshall’s negatives by tying her to President Obama, who is increasingly unpopular among Nevada voters. Only 33% hold a favorable view of Marshall compared to 43% who hold an unfavorable view.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is not taking any chances. So far, the NRCC has spent a reported $400,000 on Amodei’s behalf. Fearing the Magellan poll numbers and a lack of momentum for Marshall, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee may opt to save their resources and forgo heavy investment into the race.

If Republicans pull off a win, it will not change the composition of the House. The seat previously belonged to pro-life Republican Dean Heller who was appointed to serve in the Senate in order to finish John Ensign’s term. Ensign resigned earlier this year. If Democrats edge out another special election win, it can be assured they will be on every major television show proclaiming that the American people have decisively rejected the pro-life Republican-controlled House. And they will have one more pro-abortion ally to add to their ranks.