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Dem Registration Surges in Nevada « The Washington Independent

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Democratic voter registration is surging across Nevada — including swing counties where Republicans once held an edge.

Since 2006, Democrats have beat Republicans in new registrants by about 13,000 Nevadans. That’s a big shift for a swing state typically decided by narrow margins — for example, Nevada re-elected Bush by a slim 21,000 votes.

The gains are not confined to Democratic strongholds, either, like the urban Clark County. The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that Democratic registration is even spiking in Washoe County, a light red slice of western Nevada:

Washoe County Democrats are closing in on registered Republicans as the parties focus on the Nevada’s battleground county in the presidential election. On Thursday, county Voter Registrar Dan Burk said Republicans had 87,971 registered and Democrats 84,705, with a backlog of more than 5,000 registration applications awaiting processing…. Chris Wicker, chairman of the Washoe County Democratic Party, said the presidential race could be decided in several swing counties like Washoe in several battleground states. Washoe is considered the swing county in Nevada because Clark is heavily Democratic and the rural counties are predominantly Republican…

Burk said his staff is working overtime to process the 5,000 applications before early voting begins Oct. 18. **He also has hired 15 temporary employees and plans to add five more by the end of the week. **

“Unlike any time I have seen in 30 years of doing this, there is a really aggressive move from one party,” Burk said. “It’s really unusual to see this intense growth in such a short period of time.” Demand for voter registration forms is growing said Burk, who ordered 11,000 two weeks ago and has 3,000 left. He has ordered and additional 15,000…. (emphasis added)

The traditional way to flip a state is persuasion, of course. Which is why there are so many bland ads targeting undecided voters. It is hard to turn a state by registering new voters, rather than converting old ones. But it looks like Obama’s ground game is already having a big effect in Nevada.

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