Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

Is Nevada Still Worth All The Money?

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The final numbers are in regarding the amount spent this year in Nevada on political advertising. The Washington Post counted $54 million dollars spent in the state to influence the presidential election. That’s about $53 per vote cast.

After this year’s election results in Nevada, some are questioning whether or not Nevada’s six electoral votes are still worth the large amount of campaign funds spent.

President Obama won Nevada for the second time in a row last week. His margins in 2008 and 2012 far surpassed former President George W. Bush’s Nevada margins in 2000 and 2004.

In addition to Obama’s strong victories in the state, Democrats have 90,000 more registered voters than Republicans. The Democratic Party has a well-financed party structure in place in Nevada. On the Republican side, there is not an organization in Nevada that has proven able to match Democratic Party Organization in the state. Democrats also control the state legislature in Nevada.

Nevada may be turning into the next New Mexico. New Mexico was previously a battleground state before turning blue four years ago. This transition to a blue state quickly took New Mexico off of the Presidential radar.

However, Republicans do not believe this will be the case for Nevada.

Republican Senator Dean Heller’s campaign manager, Mac Abrams, said of Nevada, “This is the bluest purple state in the country. But we’re still a purple state.”

Abrams does have a point, as his candidate Dean Heller just won a re-election victory against Democrat Shelley Berkley. Berkely had support from the Democratic Party in Nevada.

In addition, Nevada’s Governor Brian Sandoval is a Republican. The Republican Party represents half of Nevada’s congressional delegation.

Republican strategist, Robert Uithoven, admitted that significant work needs to be done within the party to keep Nevada a battleground state.

Even Democrats in the state have said that Nevada is definitely leaning Democratic but they do not yet feel comfortable calling it a blue state.

Democrats are also proceeding with caution to ensure that history does not repeat itself. Republicans used to be the dominant party in Nevada just ten years ago. At the time, Democrats had no party structure to rely on, held only one statewide office and seemed unable to wrest control of the state Senate away from the Republicans. Just a mere decade later, the political climate in the state has obviously changed.

During the next four years, Republicans in Nevada will have to make significant efforts to relate with the growing Hispanic population in order to keep Nevada a battleground state.


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