RENO, NV (KOLO) Impeachment may be driving our political conversation at the moment, but one veteran observer of Nevada politics doubts it will have much of an impact by the time the Nevada caucus is held February 22.
"It will be in the rear view mirror by then,": says Dr. Fred Lokken of the Truckee Meadows Community College.
Lokken says impeachment has galvanized the base of both parties, energizing Democrats, but also fueling an historic fund raising total for President Trump. "It's working for both sides."
And, he says, the president's expected survival will give Mr. Trump the opportunity to claim exoneration, noting his casting himself in the role of a victim "has worked very well for him."
Democrats will need to refocus.
He says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was right to be cautious about impeachment, holding off action only relenting under pressure from her
"It was a gambit and it failed and they're just going to have focus on good old politics and to get back to the issues. One of the prices paid for the focus on the impeachment this fall is that the democrats got off message.'
That will change by February 22, Lokken says, when Nevada Democrats caucus. The focus will then turn to bread and butter issues which impact voters most, the economy, health care and immigration.
"I think health care will play very large and I think immigration will come back. It's a very large issue that effects an amazing number of people and it's a large population in a number of states. And so I think all of those issues will play much higher than impeachment will."