Saturday, May 20, 2006

Republicans bring discontent to convention

MESQUITE, Nev. (AP) - It isn't easy being a Republican these days - not even in Nevada, where just four years ago the party swept all six statewide offices and in 2004 delivered a key victory to President Bush.

But Republicans arrived Friday in Mesquite for the party's state convention with nearly one-third of their ranks no longer approving of the president's policies, according to a national Washington Post/ABC poll. Political observers say there's little chance the party will hold their grip on state offices after November's election, thanks to term limits and failed candidate recruitment efforts that left officials scrambling to a find strong contender for attorney general and 14 Assembly races without a Republican even listed on the ballot.

Add in party divisiveness on key issues - including taxes and immigration - that are splitting conservative party faithful from moderate leadership, and a handful of ethics scandals at home and in Washington that have voters looking down on all politicians.

Even the convention's kickoff golf tournament was canceled for lack of interest.

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