Nevada Turns Very Blue

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at 3:29 pm
Washoe County, Nev. (Flickr: Ken Lund)

Washoe County, Nev. (Flickr: Ken Lund)

RENO, Nev.—Three hours after Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, held a campaign rally down the street, the Washoe County GOP chairwoman Heidi Smith was puzzled as she looked over early-voting numbers. Democrats were turning out in droves.

Four hours east of San Francisco, Washoe County is the leading swing county of Nevada, a battleground state. Sen. John McCain needs a win here to keep his flickering presidential hopes alive.

For decades, Washoe County was considered a lock for Republicans. The last time a Democratic presidential nominee won Washoe County was Lyndon B. Johnson in his landslide of 1964. But last week, county registrar Dan Burk released stunning news: registered Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 1,284 voters.

Illustration by: Matt Mahurin

Illustration by: Matt Mahurin

“How did this happen?” Smith said as she shuffled through papers on her desk and eight volunteers in the strip-mall office manned the phones and occasionally handed out McCain-Palin signs.  “This was a strong Republican county. And all of a sudden — it is Democrat.”

The Democratic takeover of Washoe County has Republicans across the state reeling because it opens the door for Sen. Barack Obama to win Nevada’s five electoral votes on Nov. 4.  Smith and other top GOP officials are considering a law suit to challenge the validity of new voter registrations that has turned a 17,500-voter registration advantage for Republicans in August 2007 into a 1,300-registration advantage for Democrats.

Traditionally, Nevada’s electorate has been divided between the Democratic stronghold of Clark County, which includes Las Vegas and its suburbs, and the GOP-dominated rural areas. The GOP could usually count on places like Washoe County, which includes Reno, to tip statewide elections in its favor. Until now.

“No one thought [a Democratic takeover] would happen this fast with this kind of numbers in Washoe County,” said Chuck Muth, a GOP strategist from Carson City, Nev. “Washoe County had a large Republican registration four years ago, when [George W.] Bush barely carried the state.”

Polls show that the presidential race in Nevada continues to be a tossup. But Obama’s grass-roots-driven campaign is steadily attracting support for the Illinois senator, and Democrats are turning out to vote.  “The early numbers are encouraging, to say the least,” said Jeff Giertz, an Obama campaign spokesman.

Illustration by: Matt Mahurin

Illustration by: Matt Mahurin

Democrats were ready to hit the polls on Oct. 18, the first day of early voting which continues through Oct. 31. “[It] was like a tailgate party for Obama,” said Eric Herzik, a political science professor at University of Nevada, Reno, and a registered Republican. To stoke the fires, Obama held campaign rallies before large crowds Saturday in Las Vegas and Reno.

Meanwhile, McCain’s fortunes in the state seem to be fading. He failed to lock down Nevada’s independents and reassure nervous conservative Republicans. Add to that a faltering economy and Obama’s 4 to 1 spending advantage.

“This thing is crumbling before their eyes,” said Jon Ralston, a Las Vegas Sun political columnist.

Nevada unions have played a major role in registering voters, particularly Latino voters — expected for the first time to play a significant, perhaps pivotal, role in the election here. About half the Culinary Union’s 60,000 members in Nevada are Latino and there has been a strong push by the union to register members. “There is a a lot of coalescing around Sen. Obama,” said Chris Bohner, a Culinary Union spokesman. “His support is very high among Latinos.”

The union does not give out voter registration totals by ethnicity, Bohner said, but “there are thousands of new voters in our union” and he expects turnout is “going to be very high in the Latino community.”

Latinos, unofficially, make up about 11 percent of the registered voters in Nevada, and are roughly 24 percent of the population. The Nevada secretary of state does not track voter registration by ethnicity, but Latino organizing groups report registering more than 53,000 Latinos in Nevada over the last year, led by The We Are America Alliance, which conducted a national Latino voter registration drive.

Political scientist and Latino voting expert Matt Barreto of the University of Washington predicts a nationwide turnout of more than 9 million Latinos in 2008, compared with 7.6 million in 2004.

“They are energized to vote,” said Xio Rodriquez, a Latina Democratic Party volunteer in Reno. “They know some of the issues, they know the candidates and they know Obama and what he stands for.”

Giertz, the Obama campaign spokesman, said the Latino voter “certainly can make a difference in the election.”

Political analysts here say that Obama’s caucus win last January was a turning point in reshaping Nevada’s political map. Working outside Democratic Party powerbrokers, Obama managed to create a network of supporters at the precinct level who carried him past Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Since then, the Obama campaign, with the help of the state Democratic Party, has continued to organize at the precinct level, according to David Damore, a political science professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “Now you are going to see what a community organization does,” Damore said.


Washoe County, Nev. (Wikimedia)

Obama’s grass-roots network, which in the past year has grown to more than 4,500 volunteers, has registered tens of thousands of Democratic voters. Its success is evident here in Washoe County.

“We haven’t had Democrats in the lead in Washoe County in 30 years,” said Herzik.

“It was something we thought we would never see happen,” said Paul Kincaid, spokesman for the Nevada state Democratic Party.

Herzik said it’s too early to tell whether the Democratic registration advantage is more than a short-term phenomenon, inspired by Obama. But there are indications that Democrats are digging in for the long haul.

Amy Curtis-Weber, executive director of the Washoe County Democratic Party, said more than 8,000 new voters were registered on the day of the Democratic caucus.  That was the beginning of the big surge in Democratic registrations that pushed the party’s edge in the state to more than 110,000, according to the Nevada secretary of state. A year ago, the margin was 4,200 voters. When President George W. Bush carried Nevada by 20,000 votes in 2004, registered Republicans outnumbered Democrats by 4,000.

While Obama’s campaign is taking it to the streets in Nevada, McCain’s campaign seems a virtual no show other than Palin’s Oct. 21 appearance, which drew about 3,000 supporters, about half the size of her audience in September. “The other day, I saw three different groups of Obama supporters walking through my neighborhood,” said Muth, the GOP strategist.  “I have yet to see one McCain person.”

That pretty much dooms McCain in Nevada, contends Paul Davis, a veteran Republican activist and political science professor at Truckee Meadows Community College and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He partly based his prediction on the overwhelming support for Obama by his students, many of whom have already voted. “I believe that as far as Washoe County is concerned, not only is Obama going to win — he’s going to win big,” Davis said.

There’s more troubling news for McCain. About one-third of Davis’ Republican colleagues tell him they are planning to vote for Obama because of the country’s financial crisis. “They want something passed to stop the bleeding in the stock market,” Davis said. “They are afraid if McCain gets elected, it will be gridlock all over again.” Davis said he already “gladly” cast his vote for Obama.

McCain hasn’t been to Nevada since Aug. 9, and his absence has further hurt his standing with the conservative Republican base here. “Being a maverick doesn’t really help him,” said Herzick. “They wanted a true fiscal conservative.”

McCain’s vote for the $700-billion Wall Street bailout package also alienated a segment of Nevada’s conservative voters, who may turn to Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate. That vote undermines McCain’s attempt to paint Obama as a “socialist”, said Muth. “You can’t make that argument with moral authority when you just supported the government bailout and nationalization of the banks,” he said. “That just makes you a hypocrite.”

Last Wednesday, a steady stream of voters turned out at the downtown Reno public library, a designated voting site. Bryant Broxson, 46, and his wife, Lani, 38, voted for McCain. “If [Obama] becomes president, America will change and will never recover and never be the same again,” Lani Broxson said.

Mario Lopez, 39, a court clerk, said he voted for Obama because the “Republicans are responsible for the condition of the economy.”

Six other voters all said they favored Obama, citing his positions on health care and the economy, his poise and the greater likelihood that he would restore America’s international standing. “It’s been a miserable eight years,” said Amber Armstrong, 29, a registered independent.

About 273,800 votes have been cast in Clark County in early voting through Tuesday. Democrats have a commanding 66,600-vote advantage — 147,600 Democrats have cast ballots, compared with 81,000 Republicans and 45,700 independents and other parties.

At 54 percent, Democratic early voting turnout in the county far exceeds that of four years ago, when it was 46 percent. Democratic Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic nominee won Clark County, 52 percent to 47 percent. But Bush won the state by carrying Nevada’s rural counties along with Washoe County.

This year, however, there are clear indications that McCain cannot rely on Washoe County to tip Nevada into his corner. In Washoe County, 68,250 early ballots cast have been cast through through Tuesday, and Democrats have widened their lead to 7,300 voters. Democrats cast 31,900 votes, while Republicans cast 24,560.

“This is by far the largest number of early voters that we have ever seen,” said Burk, the Washoe County registrar. “Nothing else comes close.”

The strong Democratic turnout has Republicans mulling possible legal challenges. “We question whether these are valid registrations,” said Smith, the Washoe County GOP chairwoman.

While talking to Smith, she was interrupted by a cell phone call, which she inadvertently put on the speakerphone. It was the state GOP executive director Zachery Moyle, and the two discussed what could be done about the tsunami of Democratic Party registrations.

“I’m looking for people to sign on to a lawsuit,” Moyle said to Smith, who fumbled with the phone while turning off the speaker. “You didn’t hear that,” she said glancing in my direction.

When asked later that day about the potential for a lawsuit, Moyle said there was no “definitive plan” to go to court. “There’s been obviously concern with voter fraud across the country,” he said.

Democratic Party leaders said the only evidence of voter fraud so far in Nevada was a series of phone calls made to Democratic Latino voters telling them they could vote by phone and didn’t have to go to the polls. “The Republicans who are complaining about voter fraud are doing it simply to scare people,” contended Kincaid, the Democratic Party spokesman.

Moyle said he was still confident that Republican voters would turn out in big numbers for early voting and on Election Day, and that McCain would win Nevada.

“Yes, we are losing the early voting now,” Moyle said. “But in order for the Democrats to win and for us to be scared, we have to see [Democrats] to continue to turn out the vote.”



Comment posted October 29, 2008 @ 2:55 pm

I like the reporting and writing here. It's good news for Dems, sure, but so much of what gets reported on this site seems like cheerleading for liberals. I do happen to consider myself a liberal — though I'm a registered independent — but a more even tone, as is displayed here, greatly increases credibility and actually has some chance of convincing someone who's not already part of the choir that they might want to begin singing, too.

Comment posted October 29, 2008 @ 5:56 pm

Nevada Turns Very Blue
Early Voting Reveals Democratic Tilt
By John Dougherty 10/29/08 3:29 PM
Montreal, CANADA, October 26, 2008




Because of MAIN STREET !

Because of WALL STREET !

Because of the final electoral sprint – ending soon next coming november 2008 – while THE WHOLE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA has its eyes on YOU.

Everyone expects You to be democratically elected and see that something happen in America.

In March 1983, one of humanity's most famous spokesmen, Pope John Paul II, came to our country – 'Haîti' – and loudly proclaimed what each and every one of us had been whispering:

“Something must change here !”

Today, more than ever, a lot of people of The United States of America stand up, longing for something and working to make something happen.

“Go thou America ahead and show us thy true countenance in a positive light.' It is up to everyone to play his or her part in order to let thee regain thy mark of excellence !”

With this letter, I am communicating with You, SIR, and with the whole people of The United States of America.

You offer this country what it takes to be a 'Wonderfull Land.' Yes, let us say 'with a great people living and working together.'

Go thou, America, go ahead, following in the footsteps of one of thy sons who is now becoming one of thy statesmen.

With this in mind, to whom else could I entrust this letter sent to his Holiness Pope John Paul II when he set foot on Haitian soil for the first time, as well as its acknowledgment by the Vatican?

That letter to Pope John Paul II is intended to draw attention to the problem posed by anti-Black discrimination and its negative repercussions on the advancement of scientific progress in the West, and more precisely in the realm of Optics.

In the Western world, according to Newton's widely accepted theory, white is considered to be the synthesis of all colors. Actually, the opposite is true. White constitutes the analysis or 'visible' decoding of light or color, whereas black is its synthesis or 'invisible' composition.

In other words, darkness or blackness and, we might add, “Black Holes'” – a scientific misnomer designating invisible stars or 'Black Suns' – are a source of energy and light. Scientifically, Industrially and Economically speaking, what an asset !

That basic raw material of light energy culminates, in its most radiant form, in the neutralization of all the colors of the spectrum in the form of usually called “white light.”

Therefore “absolute blackness”, the absorption of all the colors, is a divisible component of light. Needless to say, Newton's theory gives only a partial interpretation of the notion of light, by excluding black. Our contribution aims at demonstrating that the black color is not only an integral part of the color process, but its true synthesis. Light is therefore shown to be a divisible whole comprising an intensity or color scale in which black is the invisible or 'absorbed' form of the energy in question.

Allow me, SIR, in order to support my statement concerning Black Holes and radiation, to pose a question asked by Hubert Reeves, Doctor of nuclear astrophysics and Scientific Consultant to NASA:

“What would have become of the Sun, if it were plunged into a high temperature radiance like the one that existed at the beginning of the Universe? [our translation]“

“Instead of emitting light, it would absorb it and, in the end, it would be completely reabsorbed into the cosmic fluid.”

The cosmic fluid is what, due to an “optical mistake”, is called “darkness” or the “blackness of Space”. We are talking about the electromagnetic flux, that immeasurable ocean in which the planets and stars are bathed, like the sea which links all the continents together. Darkness is thus “The Sea of Space.”

“What would have happened if, instead of an ordinary star like the “White Sun”, a Black Hole or “Black Sun” were injected into that primordial radiation?”

“According to Einsteinian Physics, a Black Hole is a place where gravity is so formidably intense that nothing can escape it, not even visible light. Such a hole should suck in and absorb radiation and increase its own mass: E=MC2, always.”

“But after Einstein came Bohr, Heisenberg, and Quantum Physic. From then on, nothing was the same as before.”

“The Einsteinian version of the Black Hole is equivalent to a statement that the matter inside the Black Hole is definitely there to stay, in that volume of space. Let us quote Hubert Reeves: “Such an absolute statement is thus contrary to the “Quantum spirit”, affirming that nothing is definitely localized in one place. There is always a probability of escape. If the enclosing wall is too high, a tunnel will be dug; if the prisoners are patient, they will escape. One has only to wait.” [our translation]

“According to that principle, Black Holes “evaporate”. Matter constantly escapes as radiation. Black Holes “shine!” Their surfaces behave like those of any body heated to a certain temperature and that radiation endlessly feeds that marvelous “Cosmic Fluid” which, wrongly and in bad faith, people keep calling “Darkness.”

Nigra sum “sed” formosa!

Yes, but should we not say instead, I am black “and” comely?

Darkness, which is both source and vehicle of light, does not have to defend itself for being the beautiful and infinitely discreet raw material of the Universe. Darkness is the “Mother of the Universe.”

Also, beautiful and discreet art thou, Haiti. Discreet, yes, but never outshone! Just like the Black Virgin who inspires and sheds her love on thee from the hilltop and even beyond Cité Soleil (Sun City).

Our purpose was to offer a more constructive approach aiming at correcting the abusive traditional, so-called scientific, theories of Optics.

It’s like to say that in the exceptional circumstances in which we live today – in the point of view of FINANCE and ENERGY – no exploration in the mid or long term, by the american expertise , of an additional source of energy, at the same time safe and economically profitable, should not be ruled out.

That is why, we wrote to that authentic witness to the signs of this age, His Holiness Pope John Paul II, the prophet of the new era.

Congratulations to You, Sir, and congratulations to the PEOPLE of The United States Of America – for having made it possible for this day of November to come – to mark the beginning of a “New Era of Hope !”

Lucien Bonnet

PLease, SEE :

The author
of this book entitled
Lucien Bonnet
1 4390 Boulevard Samson Laval (Québec) Canada
H7W 2G9
Tél.: (450) 687- 8406

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Comment posted October 30, 2008 @ 12:13 pm

Get out and vote!

Spread the word

tony smith
Comment posted October 30, 2008 @ 11:46 pm

According to one poll, those high Democratic numbers might not be translating into Obama votes. Read it. A Democratic pollster, Steve Nathan, conducted the poll and found that Obama only leads by 2 points among early voters.

Comment posted October 31, 2008 @ 9:42 am

“How did this happen?” Smith said as she shuffled through papers on her desk and eight volunteers in the strip-mall office manned the phones and occasionally handed out McCain-Palin signs. “This was a strong Republican county. And all of a sudden — it is Democrat.”


LOL – poor ol' Republicans. good thing they are planning to sue…desperate times call for desperate measures.

meanwhile, how'd it happen? check the Case-Shiller index. In Jan '05 Las Vegas homes were an index price of $207K. in Aug '08 it was $150K.

do the math.

i bet houses in Washoe County have suffered similarly.

Robert H.
Comment posted October 31, 2008 @ 11:11 pm

I left the republican party in 2001, after the idiotic and highly unconservative move to untax the ultra wealthy. I ranted and I raved on the direction we were headed since then.

Unfortunately, everything I ranted about surprisingly came true.

The party I used to call home is broken, and broken badly. It is no longer the party of conservatives. It is now the party of bible thumping lunatics (See Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, etc. States known for low percentages of college grads.) who have no idea how to govern effectively.

They broke our toys. They should not be allowed to play with them again.

Comment posted November 1, 2008 @ 6:10 am

I have been saying since April, that this one was going to be a landslide, and so far I have not been proved wrong. All these polls were taken with “likely voters”, when many seem ignore the unprecedented and huge number of new voter registrations in “red states” during the Democratic primaries. Numbers that were often double and triple the Republican registrations for the same period.

This election is all over but the “shouting”. Unfortunately it appears the shouting may be in the form of BS lawsuits and other dirty tricks by the so called Republican Party….which I agree is no longer what it used to be. Rather it has become a bunch of “bible-thumping lunatics”.


Comment posted April 24, 2009 @ 5:16 am


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Comment posted April 24, 2009 @ 12:16 pm


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