Polls: Armenian-American gains in Nevada Senate race
National mood seen swinging in favor of Republicans
Published: Tuesday January 19, 2010
Washington - Danny Tarkanian, a Las Vegas businessperson and son of nationally renowned basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, has emerged as the frontrunner in the race for the Senate seat now held by Senate Majority leader Harry Reid.
According to recent Mason-Dixon and Rasmussen surveys cited by the Tarkanian campaign, Mr. Tarkanian has pulled narrowly ahead of Sue Lowden in the projected results of the Republican Party primary race next June.
Both GOP candidates continue to poll much better than Senator Reid ahead of the general election in November. On January 14, National Public Radio (NPR) described Mr. Reid's campaign to retain his seat as "in trouble," with voters unhappy with establishment candidates over the economy.
Senator Reid has been a strong supporter of Armenian-American issues, and last November both Mr. Reid and Mr. Tarkanian issued statements in support of Armenian Genocide affirmation, while also raising concerns with U.S. policy on the Armenia-Turkey normalization process.
If successful, Mr. Tarkanian would become the first Armenian-American to be elected to U.S. Senate, and there are indications Armenian-Americans are beginning to rally for his candidacy, with an early endorsement coming from California's former Republican Governor George Deukmejian.
A Facebook group "Armenians for Tarkanian" numbered more than 300 members as of this week. And fundraising events for Mr. Tarkanian have been held in Armenian communities in Glendale and Fresno, California.
Armenian-American challengers in tougher contests in Ohio, Michigan
David Krikorian and Natalie Manoogian Mosher remain favored to win the Democratic Party's nominations in congressional races in Ohio and Michigan, respectively, where they would be challenging Republican Party incumbents.
But in recent months both Armenian-American candidates have seen their general election odds grow longer as expectations of an anti-Democratic backlash have increased.
Earlier this month, Congressional Quarterly (CQ), an expert publication on American politics, switched its rating for the Second Ohio congressional district, where Mr. Krikorian hopes to secure a Democratic nomination, from "Leans Republican" to "Likely Republican."
Also in CQ's "Likely Republican" column is the Eleventh Michigan district, where Mrs. Mosher is the only Democratic Party nominee. In a recent statement she acknowledged fundraising difficulties, but pledged to stay in the race through November.