Ralston talks down Trump, up Sandoval in Carson City

Jon Ralston, Nevada political observer, Thursday branded Donald Trump a demagogue likely to come up short in the presidential sweepstakes.

Ralston also said Gov. Brian Sandoval may not finish his term as governor in Nevada.

The television interviewer and columnist played the prediction game and entertained an audience at a Carson City Chamber of Commerce Soup’s On luncheon by fielding questions rather than making a speech. He said Trump, the billionaire businessman leading other Republicans in polls, may talk himself out of contention eventually, while Sandoval may return to the federal level before the gubernatorial second term ends in 2018. The Trump question came early on.

“He’s a master showman; he knows how to push buttons,” Ralston said. Polls more than a year out from an election don’t mean much and nobody knows the future, according to Ralston. Yet he added Trump may implode because Trump keeps talking. He said even if Trump emerges as the GOP nominee, something “miraculous” would be required for him to win the presidency. As for a third party Trump run, Ralston didn’t rule it out but said it wouldn’t work.

As for Sandoval, Ralston said the governor could return to the federal bench he left to run for governor in 2012, or be named to a cabinet post. Ralston speculated Department of Interior could lure Sandoval away, or perhaps attorney general, if a Republican wins. Even Democrat Hillary Clinton will look for some Republicans to appoint and Sandoval might fit that mold.

Ralston didn’t view prospects for a Clinton-Carly Fiorina presidential race as likely. He said Fiorina, Hewlett Packard’s leader before entering politics, faces increasing flack about her HP record.

Ralston said he wouldn’t be surprised if Democrats recapture the Nevada Legislature in 2016 and Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste dump may not be dead after Sen. Minority Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama are gone in 2017.


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