Now that the dust has settled from the major party primaries Tuesday, what do the numbers tell us about the outcomes in November in a few of the key Nevada races?
There does seem to be an enthusiasm gap between the Republicans and Democrats according to the turnout statewide.
If you just look at the raw numbers in the U.S. Senate race, you’d think they bode well for Democrat
nominee Catherine Cortez Masto who garnered 82,000 ballots, compared to Republican nominee Joe Heck’s 74,500. But Heck faced more opponents, and, contrasting with the voter registration rolls, 13,000 more Republicans voted in that race than Democrats, even though Democrats outnumber Republicans in Nevada by 48,000.
Statewide voter registration breaks down to 39 percent Democrat, 35 percent Republican and all other parties and independents account for 26 percent.
It is hard to say at this time how the lack of enthusiasm for either major party presidential candidate will affect turnout in November.
The story is similar in the closely watched 3rd Congressional District race, which is an open seat because
incumbent Heck is running for the Senate. On the Democrat ticket, Jacky Rosen raked in 14,000 votes to win the nomination, compared to Republican nominee Danny Tarkanian’s 9,000 votes, besting state Sen. Michael Roberson of $1.5 billion tax hiking fame.
CD3 is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans with each having 37 percent of the registered voters and all others with 26 percent. Yet 5,000 more Republicans voted Tuesday than Democrats in the district.
It is an entirely different story in the 4th Congressional District race in which Republican Cresent Hardy is serving
his first term and easily won the party nomination over two candidates whose campaigns failed to register a blip on the radar. Hardy collected 18,600 votes, compared to Democrat nominee Ruben Kihuen’s 12,200, but he faced seven opponents who put up vigorous campaign efforts.
The registration in that district leans heavily Democratic — 42 percent Democrat, 33 percent Republican and 25 percent all others. The district covers northern Clark County as well as southern Lyon County and all of White Pine, Nye, Mineral, Esmeralda, and Lincoln counties. Clark is heavily Democratic, while the rurals lean Republican.
In fact, 5,000 more Democrats voted Tuesday 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 ago.
Another factor is that Cortez Masto, Kihuen and Rosen are all backed by retiring Sen. Harry Reid and are likely to garner union support, which will drive turnout in November. Whether Reid’s backing is a buoy or a millstone is an open question.