Let’s give thumbs up for no more political commercials

Something’s wrong with my television. It’s suddenly less violent, and I haven’t seen a shadowy illegal alien or heard a good lie since Tuesday.

Campaign 2010 is history. Harry won and Sharron lost, but they weren’t the most interesting characters who received a thumbs up or thumbs down on Election Day.

Here are a few more:

THUMBS DOWN: Mason-Dixon Polling & Research. The usually reliable poll dancers at Mason-Dixon botched the Reid-Angle and Dina Titus-Joe Heck congressional slugfests. In other words, they missed two of the biggest races in the country.

Attribute the inaccuracy to sneaky cell phone users, secretive Hispanic voters, motivated unionists, political shenanigans, or a whopper of a Reid turnout machine. Bottom line is, they missed the mark and left the state’s largest newspaper open to criticism.

In Germany, an octopus managed to pick several straight World Cup soccer match winners. Is it time to replace Mason-Dixon with a prognosticating cephalopod?

THUMBS UP: Sig Rogich. GOP image-maker Rogich looked like he was walking off a cliff when he embraced a Democrat, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and created the Republicans for Reid campaign. Now he looks like the guy who helped save Reid and Nevada’s mainstream Republicans.

THUMBS DOWN: The bunker mentality. Angle took the advice of her experts and scattered like a scaredy cat when the Nevada press tried to ask a few questions. It not only made her look like she was in over her head, but it kept the public from meeting a side of Angle that wouldn’t have seemed extreme or dangerous.

THUMBS UP: Rebecca Lambe. The senior adviser to the Reid campaign and state Democrats led a team that handled the day-to-day Nevada strategy and helped bring together a stunning get-out-the-vote effort. The results turned the polls into punch lines and returned the majority leader to Washington.

THUMBS UP: CityCenter. The handsome resort complex, featured prominently in Reid’s campaign and vilified by his opponent, glittered like a jewel on a night that attracted dozens of members of the national media. Even members of the Reid-hating Tea Party Express bought a suite.

THUMBS UP: Dawn Gibbons. The former first lady was vilified when she stepped up and publicly endorsed Reid. Her gutsy move paid off, and she even made an appearance at the Democrats’ Aria party on election night.

THUMBS DOWN: So much for taking a principled stand. Legendary Republican state Sen. Bill Raggio invited trouble when he reluctantly endorsed Reid. On Thursday, facing ouster by long-knife conservatives, Raggio resigned as leader of his caucus.

THUMBS DOWN: Republican state senators. Mike McGinness of Fallon is a capable legislative veteran, but alienating Raggio means losing the most respected name in the building.

THUMBS UP: Gus West. The head of The Hispanic Institute, one of several groups that helped register and motivate Hispanic voters, reminded Republicans just how much Southern Nevada’s demographics have changed.

THUMBS DOWN: Alan Stock and Heidi Harris. The popular right-wing radio talkers had easy access to Angle. Now that their best friend has been defeated, what will they do with all that airtime?

THUMBS DOWN: Tea Party Express. Members of the conservative organization converged on Las Vegas and were prepared to dance on Reid’s political grave. Instead, election night saw them go into mourning for having failed to oust their No. 1 Democratic target.

THUMBS UP: Local television stations who feasted on all those vitriolic, alarmist political commercials. The ads should come with a warning for “sensitive viewers,” but there’s big bucks in all that baloney.

THUMBS DOWN: Local television station viewers who couldn’t escape from months of vitriolic, alarmist political commercials.

I never thought I’d say this, but after enduring all those awful commercials I really started to miss the Geiko gecko.

John L. Smith’s column appears Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. E-mail him at or call 702-383-0295. He also blogs at


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