Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

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How Heller Beat the Odds

Despite incumbent Republican Senator Dean Heller’s lead in the polls leading up to Election Day, many were still apprehensive about his re-election success. These worries stemmed mostly from the achievement and power of the Democratic voter turn out machine in Nevada. Although, Heller beat the odds and won the Senate seat, the qualms about his chances were not mistaken as Democrats in the state won victories with the election of President Barack Obama, Congressman-elect Steven Horsford and other Democratic legislative candidates that kept Democrats in control of the state Legislature.

However, Dean Heller still proved to be a Republican able to beat an extremely organized Democratic Party in Nevada.

Democrats argue that Heller did not beat the machine but rather ran against a weak opponent, Shelley Berkeley, who was brought down by ethics charges. This argument is not completely false, as Heller didn’t win over a majority of the electorate. A record number of voters disliked both candidates and voted “none of the above.”

Despite how he won, Heller still beat the sought after Democratic turn out machine in Nevada. Let’s take a closer look at how he did it: Continue reading

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Is Nevada Still Worth All The Money?

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. Continue reading

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Latino Vote in the 2012 Election

Coming into this year’s election, political pundits and analysts spoke at great length about the importance of the Latino Vote in key battleground states, including Nevada. It became clear that the politicians too understood the importance of this voting bloc as they spent ample amounts of time in battleground states speaking to Latino voters and ran many ads on Spanish channels. Despite both parties heavily courting this key demographic, Latino voters this year proved once again to be loyal to President Obama. The President won the Latino Vote by 71 percent to 27 percent, according to exit polls by the Pew Hispanic Research Center. Obama’s national vote share among Hispanic voters is the highest seen by a Democratic candidate since 1996, when President Bill Clinton won 72 percent of the Hispanic vote. The Pew Hispanic Research Center also found that Hispanic voters make up 10 percent of the electorate in the United States, up from 9 percent in 2008.

The Hispanic voting bloc only seems to be growing in the United States. In Nevada, Latino voters now make up about 18 percent of the electorate and Obama won the Latino Vote in the state by 70 percent to 25 percent. This margin in Nevada was very similar to Obama’s lead among Latinos nationally. As the number of Hispanic voters continues to increase in the coming years, Republicans are now facing a big problem, they either have to win over much of this voting bloc or accept what some say may be a transition to a minority party in the United States.

Republicans are accepting their current crossroad but indeed have plans to cultivate a stronger relationship with the Hispanic voters that they hope will be effective in 2016. Let’s take a closer look at how the GOP is planning to court Hispanic voters.

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Attack Ads Still Running in Nevada

Word from the ground in Nevada is that attack ads are still playing at almost every commercial break on local television and radio. The below attack ad by Dean Heller was reported by one Nevada citizen as being present “everywhere they went” today.

The attack ad continues on with Heller’s campaign narrative thus far : painting Berkley as a Washington elite who is used to playing dirty politics. Take a look for yourself:


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Drama in Nevada on the Eve of Election Day

Last night, Election Day Eve, a Clark County judge ruled Assembly candidate, Andrew Martin, as ineligible for office because he did not live in the district he was running in. This ruling caused unrest in the state among Nevada voters as the ballots had already been printed, voting machines were programmed and a large portion of the district had already voted.

Andrew Martin is a Democrat and former member of the state’s Economic Forum.

According to the report, the judge saw evidence that Martin spent nights at another house outside the district. Martin openly disagrees with this ruling and says that he will be filing an appeal.

So how will this effect that polling places in Nevada that already have Martin on the ticket?

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