Las Vegas, NV – Failed perennial candidate Danny Tarkanian beat out Republican Senate boss Michael Roberson in this week’s primary — and he now starts the general election as a significant underdog against Henderson community leader Jacky Rosen. Political observers are already making ratings changes in favor of Democrats to win back this battleground seat, and even Danny Tarkanian agrees that he doesn’t have an edge.
Given Tarkanian’s ultra-conservative views and his scandal-ridden past, it’s no wonder he’s spent the last decade getting rejected by Nevada voters. Add in his unequivocal endorsement of Donald Trump in a swing district that voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012, and it’s clear why Tarkanian is headed for another embarrassing defeat in November.
Is this Danny Tarkanian’s year to get elected? He’s tried six times to get elected to an office:
Ralston: “This is his sixth race that he’s going to be in. He has lost all of the general elections. He’s an underdog in [Congressional District 3] too.”
Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball: NV-03 Shifted from Toss-up to Lean Dem
Tarkanian has had some success in primaries but has lost several recent general elections. The Democratic nominee is Jacky Rosen, a synagogue leader. This is a swingy district that Obama won by less than a percentage point in 2012. Perhaps this is finally a chance for Tarkanian to make a breakthrough, but NV-3 is a diverse district where Trump probably will do worse than Romney did. So we’re moving this open seat from Toss-up to Leans Democratic.
Daily Kos Elections: A flawed Republican nominee gives Democrats a good chance to score a pickup in a swingy Nevada seat
This pedigree, however, can’t mask Tark’s serious personal baggage. Perhaps most seriously, Tarkanian and his family guaranteed several bad loans in their failed effort to build an “equestrian destination resort.” In 2012, Tarkanian was hit with a $17 million judgment as a result of that debacle, leading him to declare bankruptcy because of course he didn’t have anything like $17 million to repay his creditors. (He finally settled the matter for just $525,000.) Tarkanian emerged from bankruptcy protection last year, just in time to launch another campaign.
And there’s the matter of ideology, too. Tarkanian is an ardent conservative, which helped him in the primary against Roberson but will only undermine him in November.
Daily Kos Elections is changing our rating from Lean Republican to Tossup.
KTNV Las Vegas: Tarkanian, Rosen to face off in Congressional District 3 race
Reporter: “What do you think gives you the edge for November?”
Tarkanian: “I think it’s going to be a very tough race. I don’t know if I have an edge or not.”