Kaine pick could swing Nevada nonpartisans to Democratic ticket, expert says

Hillary Clinton’s new vice presidential running mate could be the ticket to swinging the Nevada nonpartisan vote in her favor, according to a political science expert from University of Nevada, Reno.

Eric Herzik, chairman of UNR’s political science department, called the pick of U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., a “safe, good faith choice,” who will bolster the Democrats chances in the swing state of Virginia.

Kaine, who Herzik described as a moderate Democrat, pushes the Democratic presidential ticket more toward the middle of the political spectrum, which he said could appeal to a large chunk of the 250,000-plus registered nonpartisans in Nevada who might be wavering on the GOP ticket of the “wild card” Donald Trump and “incredibly conservative” Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, he said.

Bernie Sanders supporters probably dislike the pick, but “they know she couldn’t pick someone like Elizabeth Warren,” Herzik said, referring to the U.S. senator from Massachusetts who had been mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate.

It’s unlikely that Clinton and Kaine will snag many Republican voters, Herzik said. More likely to happen is the disaffected Republicans shunning the GOP ticket will simply stay home come Election Day, he added.

The chairman of the Nevada State Republican Party criticized the Kaine pick as being “more of the same” from Democrats.

“The Democrat ticket is now comprised of two career politicians who promise to be nothing more than a continuation of the last eight years of failed policies under President Obama,” Michael McDonald said in a statement Friday night. “Choosing Tim Kaine will do little to excite the Democrat base nor convince Nevada voters that Hillary is the best choice to lead our country in November.”

U.S. Sen. Harry Reid said the selection demonstrated “sound judgment and thoughtful consideration” on Clinton’s part, saying the freshman Kaine has become a “highly respected” member of the Senate. Reid said in a statement that he would “do everything in my power” to elect the duo.

“The Clinton-Kaine ticket is everything the Trump-Pence ticket is not: competent, steady and committed to giving all Americans a fair shot to succeed,” Reid said in a statement. “As Donald Trump continues to promote his platform of hate, discrimination and dysfunction, Secretary Clinton and Senator Kaine will offer their vision for a fairer, more equal America.”

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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