Thursday, October 21, 2004
Is the Libertarian spoiler working his wiles in Nevada?
In Clark County [Las Vegas], Democrats voted in greater numbers than Republicans on each of the first three days of the 14-day early voting period. Overall, Democrats had a lead of 2,104 voters.
Democrats increased turnout on each of the days, edging Republicans 45 to 41 percent Saturday, 45 to 40 percent Sunday and 46 to 40 percent Monday.
Democrats make up 44% (262,216) and Republicans 37% (218,771) of the Clark County electorate.
The good news here is that the Democrats are ahead. The bad news is that they have not—as yet—turned out in exceptional numbers. You see, the Kerry camp needs a big win in Clark County to compensate for expected losses in the rural counties.
Democratic registration efforts in Nevada were very successful, changing the state from a predominantly Republican registration to a slight Democratic majority. But Clark County is the place where Democratic turnout really counts. Total registration outside of Clark County is 121,435 (34%) Democrats to 163,859 (47%) Republicans.
I was mulling this over when I read—
Out of 45 interviews at the mall Monday and Tuesday, 26 voters said they were voting for Kerry, 12 said they were voting for Bush, six declined to offer their selection and one voted for Libertarian Michael Badnarik.
Nevada has 143,103 independents. Following independents, the minor party situation is this: Leading with 24,726 registrants is the Independent American party—a religious-right-libertarian party that associates itself with the Constitution party. Then the Libertarians with 5,490 registrants.
The Rasmussen poll of 9/23 found 3% support for Michael Badnarik of the Libertarians. That's 28,379 of the registered voters—a great deal more than the 5490 registered Libertarians. And guess where they're coming from! Nevada is a great state for small-l libertarians, what with gambling, prostitution and guns.
By contrast, Nader, running as an independent, is polling around 2%. Badnarik is on more state ballots (43, as I recall) than Nader. In a state such as Nevada, Badnarik can do some real damage to Bush. Go for it, Mike!