Saturday, June 28, 2008

Targeted States: Nevada

Nevada is truly a swing state that both Al Gore and John Kerry lost by narrow margins. Gore last by four points in 2000 and Kerry by three points in 2004.

An average of current polling shows that Barack Obama and John McCain are tied in the state, but McCain is winning a larger number of the surveys.

Nevada is logistically a rather simple state. A very strong grassroots operation in the Las Vegas metro area alone could be enough for victory. Reno, the second largest city in Nevada, is in many ways a carbon copy of Las Vegas with the casino industry and labor unions as dominant factors.

Although one would expect labor to vote strongly Democrat, Al Gore only picked about half the union vote in 2000.

The state has a Republican governor and senator, and a Democratic senator, Harry Reid. The Nevada Assemby is ruled by Democrats, while the State Senate is controlled by Republicans.

Here is the polling data from RealClearPolitics:

Nevada: McCain vs. Obama (RealClearPolitics)

Polling Data

PollDateSampleMcCain (R)Obama (D)Spread
RCP Average02/26 - 06/18--43.343.3Tie
Rasmussen06/18 - 06/18500 LV4542McCain +3.0
Mason-Dixon06/09 - 06/11625 LV4442McCain +2.0
SurveyUSA02/26 - 02/28611 RV4146Obama +5.0

See All Nevada: McCain vs. Obama Polling Data

Frank Sinatra, once a Democrat who turned Republican, is still an icon in Las Vegas, Reno and Lake Tahoe. And a lot of the Democrats here are rather soft in this way, hardly to be taken for granted as supporting the Democratic nominee.

The Latino vote here is also very important. Latinos are the largest minority in the state. Hillary Clinton could be very helpful to Obama in securing this important voting bloc.

A Review Journal poll shows that the economy is easily the ranking issue among Nevada voters followed by Iraq and energy costs. Many people here, especially in Las Vegas, were hit hard by the mortgage meltdown.

Neighboring California can play a big role in winning Nevada. The Golden State can provide volunteers to work in Nevada, but that will require a strongly-entrenched local grassroots organization.

Hillary in Unity, New Hampshire.

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