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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Who Will Take Nevada?

Posted by DavidNYC

Nevada's an interesting state: It's incredibly fast-growing (the oft-repeated story is that phonebooks are published twice a year in Las Vegas), and two of its fastest-growing groups are Dem leaners: ex-Californians and Hispanics (who may well overlap a bit). We lost it by a little over 20,000 votes last time, or 2.5% - while Nader bagged 15K. After New Mexico, it's safe to say that it'll be the next Southwestern state most likely to emerge as Dem (ahead of CO and AZ).

And yet we haven't had any real leads in any polls there this entire season, except for a couple of barely measurable Zogby Interactives. Perhaps we're a little too early on NV - maybe we need to wait another cycle. But at the same time, Bush has seldom been at or above 50% in any poll - except for SUSA, which has a new one out today, conducted after the debate (likely voters, mid-September in parens):

Kerry: 46 (47)
Bush: 50 (51)
Other/Undecided: 4 (2)
(MoE: ��4%)

SUSA usually has very low undecideds - my only guess is that it might be easier to push a button on your phone that equals "vote for Bush" or "vote for Kerry" than it is to tell a real live person. (The universal psychological urge to be consistent is put at less risk when an automated machine is recording your preferences.) But that's just a guess.

If SUSA is right about the low number of undecideds (and let's not forget, the airwaves have been saturated here), then perhaps NV is out of reach for us, this time. Of course, as I mentioned, other polls describe the race differently, with Bush below that magical 50-point mark. But now that SUSA has shown Bush this high twice in a row, especially after his debate debacle, I'm not so sanguine.

All that said, we obviously don't need NV to win. I think we are most likely to win with a "bag a big one" strategy - either FL or OH. A path to victory which involves scraping together a bunch of small states doesn't seem as probable to me.

Posted at 01:23 AM in Nevada | Technorati


Nobody expected Nevada would be as close as it was last time either. I suspect the Hispanic vote plays a large role in this, meaning I hope the Dems are out in full force registering new Hispanic voters for next month. Also, the Yucca Mountain issue was not on the table in 2000.

I maintain that NV continues to be Kerry's to lose. If Kerry is smart enough to hit late and below-the-belt with a Yucca Mountain ad showing footage of toxic pollution and a laundry list of toxic chemicals "that will be in your backyard thanks to the deception of the Bush administration" in the last week of the campaign before Bush gets a chance to respond, I think he'll win the state. If Kerry decides Nevada's too small to make a difference as Gore did with West Virginia when he abandoned it in 2000, then Bush is likely to win by default. There's no question the long-term trendline of Nevada favors the Democrats, but as I've stated before, if we don't get a significant win, and soon, the Democrats will be in a position of legislative defense for decades and it will scarcely matter. I am fully of the mind that if John Kerry doesn't win this election, it's all over but the crying for most of the issues we as Democrats hold dear....for at least a generation.

Posted by: Mark at October 5, 2004 01:50 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

FYI I'm in Nevada. Just wanted to add a cautiously optimistic note.

We've been working hard getting registrations and we plan to continue to work to GOTV for K/E.

As of August 2004 tallies (the most recent data available), registered Nevada Dems FINALLY barely outnumber registered Repugs.

I doubt this was the case in 2000 but I wasn't as tuned in then.

Hopefully, Sept data will show the Dem lead increasing.

The Nevada deadline for "in person" registrations is Tuesday, October 12th.

August 2004 Registration Data:
Dems = 383,651
Rep = 382,630
3rd Party = 179,700
Total = 945,981

Click here: NV:Registered Voters by County

Posted by: Ranee at October 5, 2004 04:41 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Clark County is leading the nation with new voter registration. At least 150,000 new registrants are being processed at this moment, which is traditionally extremely good news for Democrats. So I wouldn't think too much of the polls, since reality, like George Bush, doesn't listen to poll numbers.

Read for more: http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2004/Oct-02-Sat-2004/news/24897503.html

Posted by: Dale at October 5, 2004 08:05 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

That's interesting. But, it doesn't seem like the Democrats have an overwhelming majority of voters in Clark County. It's not like most American urban areas, where the Dems might have a 3 to 1 or a 4 to 1 registration advantage. It's more like 5 to 4 Dem in Clark county.

I'll tell you what I think might just make the difference in a state like Nevada this year. A lot of conservatives might defect to the Libertarian candidate and vote for Badnarick, thus suppressing W's vote totals.

It is good to see the Dems pull ahead on voter registration. At some point, just the sheer registration numbers ensure a win.

Posted by: Rock_nj at October 5, 2004 09:00 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

still hard to say how this election will play out with 4 weeks to go.my
gut feeling is kerry will win the popular vote and bush will get the electoral college again by stealing
either florida or ohio.

Posted by: joel at October 5, 2004 10:23 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I find it interesting that in most post first debate national polls the race is a dead heat, however, in the state polls I have seen, primarily SUSA and Rasmussen, Kerry does not seem to have improved in these state polls. These states include FL and NV. Any thoughts? He has improved in NJ however.

Posted by: Peter at October 5, 2004 10:27 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Rasmussen does polling over longer periods of time, so it'll take a while for him to pick up changes. I also think it takes a little while to start seeing changes in the state polls.

The one depressing possibility is that Kerry's bounce came primarily in places like NJ, MD, NY etc. That makes MD and NJ safe for him, but its not good news overall.

Posted by: erg at October 5, 2004 11:00 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

We have no reason to be depressed. After all, it's been only one debate out of three, which we should expect won't change minds right away. I'm inclined to believe that we expected too much too soon, and we're reentering a mindset that says "John Kerry is unwinnable". So be calm, fellow liberals. John Kerry is in healthy shape right now; Bush & Friends tried desperately to spin the debate their way, but failed miserably. Rumsfeld had to admit there was no connection between al Qaeda and Saddam, and Condi Rice looked like a fool on ABC. Bush is on the defensive now, and tonight, we have to see if John Edwards can put Cheney on the defensive as well.

Posted by: Dale at October 5, 2004 11:30 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

As mentioned by ranee, the Dems have their sh@t together this year, way ahead of what meager presence the Gore campaign had in Nevada in 2000. Up here in Washoe County, the D's consistently stuff their office with phone banking volunteers, and they're averaging a hundred volunteers from California each weekend for walking.

Count me in the cautiously optimistic camp that says the surge in Dem voter registration is simply overwhelming the usual "likely voter" methodology determinations used by the polling firms.

I think Kerry's gonna take Nevada for two reasons:

1) As mentioned, the amazing voter registration Dems have pulled this cycle will certainly provide some payoff that's not being accounted for in the polls.

2) The Nader factor is less acute this year- you hear far less "Dems and Republicans aren't different" buzz this cycle.

But... beware of voter reg foul-ups. I understand the local party is VERY worried about a multi-month lag in voter registration processing going on at Washoe County, as in new registrations and change of addresses posted in JULY just now being processed in OCTOBER. The local D's are lighting a fire under the county voter registrar's office- let's hope it gets them moving, or we'll have a lot of pissed off people showing up at the polls for the first time ever unable to vote cause of bureaucratic ineptitude.

Posted by: wavyb at October 5, 2004 01:22 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

NV is another state, like VA, that could be ripe for the picking, if Kerry's campaign fights for it. It will be interesting to see what happens there in the remaining weeks leading up to the election.

Posted by: Pepe at October 5, 2004 01:35 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Can anybody comment on what's going on in MI? I see in today's Rasmussen poll the race is tied. It's the first time that Kerry has not been leading there. How is it, after Bush's disasterous first debate, that Kerry has lost his lead in MI for the first time in the Rasmussen poll? According to their poll, 52% of Michiganians view the Bush favoriably. Huh????

Posted by: Pepe at October 5, 2004 02:23 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

One more thought regarding increased democratic registration. Remember how turnout in the early primaries (when the nomination was still a race) was quite high. I don't think there is a coincidence between demo's turning out to vote in their primary, and increased registration before the general election.

Posted by: tim at October 5, 2004 06:30 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I too have wondered if the big Kerry bounce came mostly in states that were blue anyway; we'll see. (But even an expanding Kerry lead in those states frees KE04 up to put money into the real swing states.)

Does SUSA use LVs, or RVs? Do they poll in Spanish (as some human-poller firms, including Gallup, do)? Firms that won't/ can't poll in Spanish won't do a very good job in the Southwest. (But that 50's still a little depressing.) I hope somebody else polls NV soon.

Posted by: accommodatingly at October 5, 2004 08:18 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

SUSA came out with a poll showing Kerry ahead by a point or so in Ohio. This is good news.

Posted by: erg at October 5, 2004 08:58 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Republican voter fraud in Nevada

Interesting piece on RNC hiring workers to register voters that then turn in fraudulent registrations in an attempt to boost Republican numbers.

From KOLO: video (WMF)

Posted by: wavyb at October 6, 2004 02:42 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment