One Nevada Democratic Party insider offered this tip for candidates running for public office in 2012: "Don't get your picture taken with President Obama," he said.Someone needs to report these people to Attack Watch.
At least not while Barack Obama's approval ratings remain in the tank, in the high 30 percent to low 40 percent range, according to recent opinion polls.
Republican Mark Amodei's runaway 22-point victory over Democrat Kate Marshall in last Tuesday's special U.S. House election rattled the advisers of Democratic contenders, who worry about persistent economic doldrums and a potential Obama drag at the ballot box.
The most effective TV ad Amodei used against Marshall was called "echo." The 30-second spot juxtaposed video clips showing her delivering the same Democratic talking points as Obama and U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, another GOP target, including the famous "yes we can" presidential campaign theme.
"Democrat Kate Marshall. We can't afford her in Congress," said another TV ad paid for by national Republicans. The words appeared below a picture of Obama and Marshall together, both smiling.
Most Democrats spoke privately about their 2012 concerns as party leaders publicly discounted any fallout, saying the 2nd Congressional District special election was unique. Still, the lopsided loss -- 58 percent to 36 percent -- when Republicans have just an 8 percentage point advantage in voter registration, worries even Obama loyalists.
"I think we Democrats have our challenges ahead in Nevada given that result," said Jill Derby, a former state party chairwoman who backed Marshall and in 2006 came within five points of winning the district in the strongest bid against the GOP. "I think the Democrats have to regroup."
And there's plenty of time -- 14 months until the general election -- note Democratic leaders, who are telling supporters and candidates not to read too much into the Sept. 13 special election, in which only 33 percent of the district's 396,000 voters turned out.
"Mostly I think Democrats just weren't motivated to vote, and I think that will change during the presidential election," said Erin Bilbray-Kohn, a national Democratic committeewoman in Nevada. "I don't think the Kate thing is going to mean anything for 2012."
H/T Hot Air.