Obama, Romney Stop Over in Nevada: Is It Still a True Toss-Up?

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SAUL LOEB / AFP / Getty Images

US President Barack Obama speaks during the 113th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars at the Reno Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nevada, on July 23, 2012

President Obama took a day trip to Nevada on Monday, a quick detour from his West Coast swing, to address the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Reno. The speech was national fare directed at vets–Iraq, Osama bin Laden, VA benefits, defense spending–not the local cuisine he usually serves up to hometown crowds in America’s swing states. Obama didn’t linger in Washoe County, where Reno is situated and where Mitt Romney takes his turn in front of the VFW on Tuesday, before jetting back to California.

Nevada is rightfully known as a swing state–the polling there is closer than in New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania or Indiana, for example, and it’s one of a handful of states now bearing the load of early advertising dollars in the presidential race. Obama has spent $7.2 million in the state since May. And Washoe isn’t just any swing county either–it’s one of 272 nationwide that voted twice for George W. Bush before flipping to Obama in 2008. But there are a few signs that Nevada now lies at the outer margin of toss-up states, leaning in Obama’s direction.

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Obama won Nevada by 12 and a half percentage points in 2008, a larger margin of victory than in Minnesota, home of Paul Wellstone and Walter Mondale. It was high-water year for Democrats to be sure, but the margin suggested a larger shift. In 1996, Bill Clinton defeated Bob Dole with ease, running up 10-point victories in states like Pennsylvania, just as Obama did against John McCain. But Clinton only won Nevada by 1 point. What changed? According to the Census Bureau, Nevada’s population grew 35% between 2000 and 2010; Latinos, who now comprise more than a quarter of the state’s population and break Democratic, accounted for nearly half that growth.

Romney is often said to have his own demographic advantage in Nevada because of its sizable Mormon population. But Mormons only comprise about 6.5% of the population and are already a high-turnout, conservative-leaning bloc. In 2008, people from religions other than Protestantism and Catholicism accounted for 7% in Nevada’s exit polls, and Mormons said they preferred McCain to Obama by more than 3-1 in pre-election polling. Romney can probably do even better, but that’s unlikely to swing Nevada for him on its own.

Neither is the issue of housing, which has hit Nevada hard: Up until this year, the state spent 62 consecutive months with the most foreclosures in the nation. Obama’s record on this issue is pretty miserable, and critics have panned his Administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program. But Romney is not in a strong position to offer more–he told the Las Vegas Review Journal in 2011 that the foreclosure process needs to “run its course and hit the bottom.” Let the market work. He may have gotten his wish: the U.S. housing market is beginning to look up, and national trend lines have historically had a much larger effect on presidential races than local factors.

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Another perennial campaign issue in Nevada is the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste disposal area. It generally offers Democrats a leg up with the locals, who oppose the site and the advances of its Republican supporters. It’s an advantage Obama exploited to bloody effect in 2008:

But Romney’s less vulnerable than McCain was. Despite some mixed messages from supporter Nikki Haley, Romney’s on the record for giving Nevada final say over Yucca Mountain, a break from his party.

Nonetheless, Nevada isn’t quite on the knife’s edge. Among the polling averages of the 11 states considered toss-ups under the most generous definition in 2012–Nevada, Iowa, Colorado, Virginia, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida and Missouri–Nevada has the second largest gap, at +5.2 percentage points for Obama. That’s reflected in campaign resource allocation as well. Despite consistent spending in the Silver State, the President’s campaign has directed more to states like Iowa, North Carolina and Virginia. American Crossroads, the Republican third-party group spending on Romney’s behalf while he awaits his party’s nomination, has spent more in almost every swing state than in Nevada.

None of which is to say Nevada’s six electoral college votes don’t matter, the state won’t be very closely contested or that Obama and Romney won’t be back in Washoe county before November. They probably will. Just don’t expect them to dawdle too long.

PHOTOS: Inside Barack Obama’s World

74 comments
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James
James

my roomate's

mother-in-law made $16596 the previous month. she is working on the

internet and bought a $547600 home. All she did was get lucky and follow

the guide shown on this web site

http://www.LazyCash49.com

James
James

my

classmate's ex-wife makes $69 an hour on the laptop. She has been

unemployed for 5 months but last month her pay was $19241 just working

on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this web site

http://www.LazyCash49.com

3xfire3
3xfire3

Announcing the “Shinny Object Award Program”.

 

I’m announcing the creation of a TIME Journalist Award Program.

There will be a Gold, Silver and Bronze Award given on a regular basis to the TIME Journalists who achieves the highest score on writing of “Shinny Object Stories”.

 

Shinny Object Stories are stories that, rather than talk about the important issues related to the Presidential election, choose to write about subjects of minor importance. These stories are designed to take the pressure off President Obama on the big issues such as Jobs, the economy and his record and to aid him in his re-election campaign.

gingerpye
gingerpye

A "shinny" object. Is that something you wear around your lower leg?

Steven Janiszewski
Steven Janiszewski

The

race should not be this close in free-thinking Nevada. Romney could

win, which would be tragic. If elected, Mitt "Cyborg"

Romney would dismantle the federal government and restructure

(destroy) the economy. His kleptocratic administration would make

his exploits at Bain look like acts of compassion.To gain an existential understanding of the cult that produced

Mitt "Cyborg" Romney, and to get your socks scared off read

The Assassination of Spiro Agnew, available

at:

www.amazon.com/Assassination-S...

Its brown-eyed, part-Mexican Mormon

assassin dramatizes the Mormon superiority complex manifesting as

jingoism and an anti-federal government temperament.

It shows the similarities

between Islam and Mormonism and reveals the secrets of Mormon

mind control, the spiritual powers behind the cult.

Praise:

“With a clarity of language and

vision unsurpassed in contemporary American prose, Steven

Janiszewski's Assassination of Spiro Agnew takes us into a

U.S. mazed with madness and Mormonism and all things Utah, a U.S.

that was then and still is. Do we need a novel, even as brilliant as

this one, about a young man on a divine mission to assassinate the

Vice President because he is too liberal? Yes, now more than ever.

Readers, welcome to a masterpiece.”

tomwhalen.com

Read The Assassination of

Spiro Agnew.

 

AlterYourEgo
AlterYourEgo

So, based upon LegalBagel's post and your info, Chosun1, it appears that Maybe 10-15% of the VOTERS in Nevada will be Latinos.  That's a big percentage but it isn't 27%.

Tennessean
Tennessean

"But among high-interest voters across the country – those indicating a “9” or “10” in interest on a 10-point scale – Romney edges Obama by two points, 48 percent to 46 percent." -- New NBC/WSJ poll

Tennessean
Tennessean

The new NBC/WSJ poll has Obama up over Romney by 8 points. The last sentence: 

"But among high-interest voters across the country – those indicating a “9” or “10” in interest on a 10-point scale – Romney edges Obama by two points, 48 percent to 46 percent."

bluesdoc70
bluesdoc70

Go ahead Nevada vote for Obama...Just think of it as legalized prostitution in Washington.

atx1
atx1

Nevada is almost a lost cause, these people have been electing Harry Reid to the Senate for years.  your housing market crashed, by voting for liberals you've earned it, keep it up and you'll be Kalifornia!

Chillycat2
Chillycat2

Any state or any person who goes for obama is nothing but a lazy free rider...who expects the government and others who actually work to support them...and that is a fact!

anon76returns
anon76returns

No, that is a subjective opinion.  And an astonishingly myopic and poorly supported opinion, at that.

pc1397
pc1397

You don't know what a fact is, do you.

Chris Ar
Chris Ar

Anywhere the economy sucks is in play for Romney. However, as we saw in the 2010 senate election, Reid and the Dems have a highly effective GOTV and an even better voter fraud machine. I'd bet Nevada stays blue, but just barely. 

guitarzan60
guitarzan60

Obama will not win in November.

rokinsteve
rokinsteve

You must be the same Guitarzan the Monkey Man that Ray Stevens wrote the song about in the early 60's. 

sacredh
sacredh

Yes he will. It may be more of a case of Romney losing though.

sacredh
sacredh

Obama/Biden 2012 and 2016! If we're really going to gut the constitution, let's start with the two terms part!