Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

What to Watch for in Nevada Polls

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Just a few more hours!! Here is what to watch tonight as the numbers start coming in from Nevada.

Harry Reid’s Political Machine – Just looking at voter registration numbers in Nevada, it seems that Harry Reid’s political machine has lived up to its expectation in the state. Democrats have 90,000 more voters registered in Nevada than Republicans. Democratic party organizers have focused their voter turn out on the growing group of Hispanic voters in the state. Despite the work that Democratic Party organizers have already done, Republicans still believe they can compensate for this advantage by driving turnout on Election Day and winning nonpartisan voters — who make up about 20 percent of the electorate.  Harry Reid’s political machine could also be very decisive in the senate race. A large turnout by Democrats could be just the push Shelley Berkley needs to beat incumbent Dean Heller for the Senate seat.

Nevada Polls Close at 7:00 PM – Around 7:30 p.m., the Nevada Secretary of State and County Registrars will post early vote results. Due to the fact that the majority of voters in Nevada have already cast their vote, these numbers will be extremely telling. Focus on three main indicators when looking at the numbers tonight:

  •  How big is Obama’s advantage over Romney in Clark County? In early voting turnout, Democrats had almost a 70,000 voter advantage. If this number translates into actual votes, Obama likely will easily win in Nevada.
  •  What are the results in Washoe County? In this swing county, turnout was virtually even. If Romney is able to win by a significant margin here, he may be able to use strength in the rural areas and Election Day turnout to give Harry Reid’s political machine a run for it’s money.
  •   Watch the senate race. Did Obama voters vote Democratic then stop or did they continue down the ballot and vote for Shelley Berkley as well? For Heller to win, he needs many crossover voters and the vote from much of Northern Nevada.

 

 

Congress – Two of Nevada’s congressional races will be closely watched tonight as they have become extremely competitive. In the 3rd Congressional District, incumbent Representative Joe Heck, a Republican, is facing Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, a Democrat. The district has about 8,000 more Democrats than Republicans, but Heck is still expected to win. The second tight race is in the 4th congressional district. Republican Danny Tarkanian has launched his fourth bid for office against Democratic state Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford. The voter registration advantage heavily favors Democrats, by about 40,000 voters. But Tarkanian has a recognizable last name and Horsford’s past missteps have hindered his campaign. Additionally, the 4th district covers urban North Las Vegas as well as vast areas of rural Nevada, making it a hard district to call. Many expected Horsford to be the clear winner in this race, but polls have been showing the opposite.

Stay tuned tonight and keep checking Destination 270 for the latest updates regarding the races in Nevada.

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