2020 Presidential Elections State-by-State Guide: Trump eyes Blue-leaning Nevada’s 6 electoral college votes
The president lost closely to Hillary Clinton in the Battle Born State in 2016. Can the GOP win the state with a big Hispanic population that it last bagged in 2004?
The Democratic caucuses will be held on February 22, 2020 (Saturday). Nevada will not have its Republican caucuses and all the delegates will commit to President Donald Trump.
Democratic delegates: 48 (36 pledged, 12 super)
Republican delegates: 25
Steve Sisolak (Democratic); since January 2019
Catherine Cortez Masto (D) and Jacky Rosen (D)
Three Democrats: Dina Titus (1st district), Susie Lee (3rd district), Steven Horsford (4th district)
Only Republican: Mark Amodei (2nd district)
Electoral college votes: 6
Hillary Clinton won all of them in 2016.
How Nevada has voted in the past:
Nevada gained statehood in October 1864 and the great Abraham Lincoln won the election that year in the state that was among the two to join the Union during the Civil War. The Silver State had only three electoral votes till 1980 which went up to six by 2012 because of its rapid rise in population. The influx of population saw Nevada turning into a battleground state even though the Republicans had dominated it between the late 1960s to the late 1980s. Between the 1992 and 2016 elections, Nevada saw the Democrats winning five times while George W. Bush was the only exception to have won there in 2000 and 2004. In 2016, Clinton beat Trump by 48 percent to 46 percent and it was only the second time since 1908 that Nevada was won by a presidential candidate who did not win nationally (in 1976, Gerald Ford had beaten winner Jimmy Carter here).
Nevada is becoming more blue:
The reds have won Nevada seven times in the presidential elections held since 1972 while the Blues have won five times. Nevada’s tilting towards the left has been facilitated by an exodus of Californians and it has helped the Democrats to take control of the state government in a long time.
The presence of the Democratic supporters in Nevada will encourage the party ahead of the caucuses next year even though the leader from the neighboring state who was in the fray for the 2020 battle -- Kamala Harris -- has now quit the race. Over 450,000 people moved from California to Nevada between 2008 and 2017 while 300,000 moved in the opposite direction. And this has changed the state’s political dynamics, feel Democratic experts. Besides the immigration, the Dems have also benefited from strong labor groups like the Culinary Union that includes workers at hotels and casinos of Las Vegas and the moderate candidates. The recent online attacks on union members by alleged supporters of top candidate Bernie Sanders could have an impact on the Democratic equations. High accommodation prices in the Bay Area and Southern California have also seen people going to Nevada where the Latino, African-American and Asian-American population has gone up while the white and non-Hispanic population have remained mostly the same.
People of color have helped the Democrats as they did in the midterm elections in 2018 when they won top political posts in Nevada. The return of the Democrats in the state have led to Nevada’s Californication as favorable labor laws, better environmental standards and gun-control measures have emerged. In terms of registered voters, while the Republicans had an advantage of over 10,000 in July 2004, the Democrats had an advantage of over 70,000 in July this year. The Battle Born State certainly looks hopeful for the Democrats in 2020.
Nevada and the 2020 presidential election
Like most of the U.S., healthcare, economy and immigration remain top issues in Nevada as well. In a state which has seen a close race over the last almost half a century, issues take the centerstage more than candidates as both the parties focus on stoking up the issues they dominate to mobilize supporters. So, while the Democrats prefer to work around healthcare more, the GOP members opt for immigration and the issue that gets more attention tends to determine the contest.
Last June, Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale said the GOP would win Nevada if the election was held that week. This gave birth to speculation given the fact that the GOP hasn’t done well in the state since the '90s, even when their candidate has won the presidency. The gap between the blue and red in the state has also widened since 2016 when Trump lost closely to Hillary, making the GOP proclaim Nevada as officially a blue state.
The GOP there have voters who are loyal to the president but did not cast ballots in the midterm elections. They will be back in 2020, it believes. The GOP has raised big money and deployed staff members to gear up for the battle in Nevada. Trump knows the fight will be hard this year as six delegates are up for grabs.