Nevada Democrats in Civil War

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On the cusp of a crucial midterm election year, a conflict among Harry Reid’s party machine and pro-Bernie elements is splitting liberals in a key swing state — and pulling in the Democratic National Committee.

The Nevada battle exploded earlier in the year when upstart Sanders supporters seized control of the state party from associates of the previous Senate Majority Leader.


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This has since resulted in a flurry of defections, humiliating headlines, and the formation of a fully functional shadow party.

This isn’t working out well for them

The schism is jeopardizing Democrats’ prospects of retaining a seat in the Senate they simply cannot afford to lose in 2022. This has been shaping up to be a tumultuous election season.

President Biden carried Nevada by only two percentage points in the 2020 race. This is significantly narrower than his 2020 victory in Virginia where conservatives romped in the governor’s contest last week.

“This continuing internal fighting has taken up a lot of time. With only a few months until the vote, it’s taken assets, time, and energy away from hiring new candidates and constructing good, necessary relationships with stakeholders,” said Shaun Navarro, an erstwhile co-chair of the Democratic Socialists of America’s Las Vegas chapter.

“These are some of the reasons why people despise politicians.”

The fight in Nevada also hurt the concerted campaign for prominent Democrats in the country lacking crucial voter data. This is depriving Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, as well as Gov. Steve Sisolak, of a valuable asset ahead of their re-election campaigns next year.


Sanders’ supporters and Reid’s nationally famous political organization (which put progressives in all branches of government in Nevada) have been at odds for years.

Sanders barely lost to Hillary Clinton inside the state’s 2016 presidential primaries; his team accused party bosses of cheating the national convention that decided national delegates.

Meanwhile, Sanders supporters were suspected of tossing chairs in a riotous scene, prompting the state party to submit a complaint with the DNC.

This complaint alleged “extra-parliamentary behavior — indeed, outright violence,” which the Sanders campaign emphatically rejected.


They have no idea what they are doing

The new party establishment, according to the Reid machine, has no idea how to win the presidency. Its answer was to conduct the integrated midterm campaigns out of the local party in Nevada’s second-largest county, bypassing the state party.

Progressives regard Nevada Democratic Victory (the group leading the initiative in Reno’s Washoe County) as an anti-democratic attempt to sabotage a leader lineup that was elected fairly and squarely.

The Nevada Democrat Party staff sent $450,000 to the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee just before liberals and socialists took control of the party this year – and then quit.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is now contributing money to Nevada Democratic Victory.