Rural Nevada voters help paint the state red

It may have been a Republican rout across Nevada,  but it was voters in rural counties who turned out in greater numbers and helped turn the state Republican red.

While turnout in Clark County, where more than two-thirds of the state’s population resides, was only 41 percent, turnout in many rural counties topped 60 percent, hitting 83 percent in Lander and 80 percent Eureka.

The dreaded mining tax constitutional amendment, Question 2, which would have removed the 5 percent cap on the net proceeds tax on minerals, went down to defeat by less than a percentage point, or 3,300 votes. The measure won with 56 percent of the vote in Clark County, where the state’s largest newspaper, the Review-Journal, endorsed passage of the amendment, but was defeated by huge margins in the rural counties, where most newspapers editorially opposed the change. Voters opposed the measure by more than 80 percent in Elko, Esmeralda, Eureka, Lander and White Pine counties.

Brian Sandoval

The rural counties also played a role in the Republican sweep of statewide offices on the ballot — Brian Sandoval for governor, Mark Hutchison for lieutenant governor, Adam Laxalt for attorney general, Barbara Cegavske for secretary of state, Ron Knecht for controller and Dan Schwartz for treasurer.

Sandoval, Hutchison, Schwartz and Knecht won in every county, despite the fact Schwartz’s opponent was endorsed by the Reno and Las Vegas newspapers and despite the fact Knecht’s opponent for backed by the Reno paper.

Adam Laxalt

Barbara Cegavske

The biggest difference made by the rurals may have been the somewhat surprising win of newcomer Laxalt over 12-year Secretary of State Ross Miller by less than 1 percentage point statewide. Democrat Miller carried the endorsement of the Las Vegas and Reno newspapers and won in Clark by 6 points and in Washoe by less than 2 points. Laxalt won most of the others counties with double-digit margins, by more than 52 points in Eureka, by 44 points in Lincoln and Elko counties.

Cegavske won in every county expect Washoe and Mineral.

The Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, Lincoln County Record, Eureka Sentinel, Mineral County Independent-News and Mesquite Local News — endorsed the Republican slate, except for Sandoval whose race was never in doubt.

Dan Schwartz

Cresent Hardy

Another race that many considered an upset was determined by rural voters — Congressional District 4, in which Democrat freshman incumbent Steven Horsford was defeated by Mesquite Republican Cresent Hardy by nearly 3 percentage points.

In the portion of Clark County in the district Horsford, who was endorsed by the Las Vegas newspaper, won by less than 2 points. Hardy carried Mineral by only 1 point, but won by double digits in the rest of the counties — 46 points in Esmeralda, 51 in Lincoln, 37 in Lyon, 21 in Nye and 30 in White Pine.

In a reversal of fortunes, Republicans now control majorities in both the state Assembly and Senate, taking 25 Assembly seats and leaving Democrats with just 17. All the Democrats in the Legislature are from either Clark or Washoe. None is from a rural county.

So, yes, your votes counted.

Ron Knecht

15 comments on “Rural Nevada voters help paint the state red

  1. Steve says:

    A good result.
    Now the real work begins and I hope the new people don’t do like Reid. Inclusiveness and bill votes should be the order of the day.

    I am happy about Laxalt and hope he does well, I do not regret my vote for Miller.

  2. Athos says:

    Here’s hoping that the new Nevada Congress can undo the “Californacation” of Nevada, and return us to the free state that attracted me, many years ago.

    Of course, even they can’t resurrect Benny Binion!

  3. iShrug says:

    There are significantly more Democrats in Clark County than there are Republicans. I think lots of Democrats stayed home. They didn’t like their party choices, but couldn’t bring themselves to vote Republican. I talked to some of them.

  4. No enthusiasm for the Reid agenda.

  5. Athos says:

    “You want me to vote D? So where’s my government contract, Harry?”

  6. Are you a relative?

  7. Winston Smith says:

    Once the (R) newcomers have been beltway-ized by the neocon party elite, we’ll see what they’re actually made of and if they dare oppose the klepto-republicrat system that has been running the show for decades. If not, we’ll just end up with another Bob “It’s My Turn” Dole, John “I Was a POW!” McCain or Mitt “I Won’t Really Challenge Barry” Romney nomination in 2016.

    Not to be cynical, but…

  8. Athos says:

    You weren’t cynical as much as your article was depressing, Winston. And Tom, ain’t that ashame about being a relative? Look how he treated his good friend Harvey Whittemore !

  9. Winston Smith says:

    I’m not a fan of neocons Boehner and McConnell, and suspect they will Gingrich Congress up, while giving lip-service to Constitutional principles. The neocons love teaparty-type revitalization of the Republican base, but don’t want any real change in D.C.

  10. Cynics and pessimists get to say: “I told you so.”

  11. Winston Smith says:

    It happens so often, I just say ITYS. 🙂

  12. Winston Smith says:

    Three years ago I met with a certain newly elected U.S. Senator and he was all pumped about taking on Obama, and even the Republicans, on their unconstitutional crap. Two months ago, I met with him again, and he still disagreed with the Obama agenda, but this time, when asked what the Republicans will do if they take control of the senate, he basically sounded pessimistic about reversing any of the damage, and was just hoping to keep amnesty from happening.

    Now, whether that was just a pre-election attempt to not stir up the rhetoric or if he has now seen how things work inside the beltway and is cynical about fighting the power, I don’t know, but it left me thinking he had met the proverbial “Taylor Machine” back East and came out on the losing end.

  13. […] Rural Nevada voters help paint the state red Nov5 by Thomas Mitchell It may have been a Republican rout across Nevada, but it was voters in rural counties who turned out in greater numbers and helped turn the state Republican red. […]

  14. […] pundit Jon Ralston and the family of attorney general candidate Democrat Ross Miller, who surprisingly lost to Adam Laxalt […]

  15. […] than Republicans in that district, but there wasn’t much of a choice for Republicans. The rurals are credited with putting Hardy over the top in the election two years […]

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