Whether Adelson—or any other particular big donor—holds that much sway will depend in part on whether the Berkley-Heller Senate race is more like the presidential campaign, or more like a “low-information” House contest. In her article, Damon uses her contacts to add some perspective and suggest that super PAC dollars will be just one part of the equation:
But Democratic sources caution against overstating the impact of Adelson’s money in a race that is going to draw significant outside spending no matter what. That spending, and spending in the presidential race, will quickly saturate Nevada airwaves, making it difficult for Adelson to fund television ads.
In other words, voters will see ads with information about Heller and Berkley from lots of different sources.
But the other place voters should be getting that information from, of course, is their local media. Nevada journalists are already demonstrating their acumen for following the money trail. They’ll need to continue on that path—but also to take the fork that leads them to serious discussions of the candidates and the issues.
That’s an imperative that extends well beyond this Senate race, and this particular swing state. Klein predicts that, come November 6, the electorate will know “very little” about the candidates for Congress. Reporters still have six months in which to, hopefully, prove him wrong.