Wednesday, November 7, 2012

First Thoughts on the Morning After

Yes, I still have a hangover from yesterday. And I still have so much cleaning to do today. But now, it's all over. The votes have been counted.

And right now, Coolican is required reading on understanding what happened here in Nevada.

Democrats have won the national popular vote in six of the past seven presidential elections. In Nevada, this move to the Democratic column has been more recent but also swifter. President Barack Obama’s comfortable victory here —despite the terrible economy, joblessness and housing market — illustrates that Nevada isn’t much of a presidential swing state anymore. Hence, my suspicion that we won’t continue to be inundated with TV ads every four years.

The demographic trends working against Republicans nationally are even fiercer here. CNN exit polls show that Hispanics constitute 18 percent of the electorate, up from 15 percent in 2008 and 2010, and Obama won nearly 70 percent of those voters. And, every day, more and more Hispanics become citizens or turn 18, and nearly all of them recoil from the GOP’s strident positions on immigration, but also from its conservative economic policies.

As we've discusses before, demographics matter. And since the demographics of Nevada have changed so much in the last two decades, we're a different state. Yet Republicans still haven't adapted to that.

And what's made it even worse for them has been their lack of good field. Because Nevada Democrats have been so great at building a solid field operation in this state, they ran into so much success in GOTV. Certainly, "The Reid Machine" delivered yet again.

However, it wasn't fully complete. Dean Heller and Joe Heck somehow hanged on last night, though Heller "won" with only 46% of the vote. "Tea Party, Inc." outfits spent many millions of dollars on attacking Shelley Berkley and John Oceguera. And it looked like many of those attacks stuck. And it looked like they were able to deliver a few Legislature seats to Republicans as well.

However, Democrats will end up keeping both houses of the Nevada Legislature. And despite the "TEA" fueled attacks on Steven Horsford, he is still finalizing a decisive victory over Danny Tarkanian. And President Obama won Nevada by a bigger margin than most pundits had expected. All in all, not so bad for Nevada Democrats.

Looking forward, Democrats here have had to learn some lessons the hard way when it comes to responding to "TEA" fueled ad attacks. Yet despite that torrent of money thrown onto our TV screens and mailboxes, we still ended up seeing a whole lot of Blue here last night. As I said all along this cycle, Nevada remains a Blue State.

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