Nevada: A Possible Split Ticket State

nevada

Carter Fox is a junior honors student majoring in history and political science with a minor in legal studies. He is from Tulsa, Oklahoma but is a full-fledged Razorback.  Carter is actively involved in Greek Life as well as C3. After graduating, Carter hopes to attend law school.

Going into the 2016 Presidential election, Nevada was assumed to be a strong candidate for a battleground state for several reasons. Chief among them: Obama’s margin of victory decreased substantially in 2012, changing demographics of the population, and a hotly contested senate race for Harry Reid’s seat. However, with recent polling, it seems more likely that the true battle will be over the Senate seat and not the votes of the Electoral College.

Perhaps the greatest reason for Trump’s failure to make significant headway into Nevada is the large influx of Hispanic and Latino voters in Nevada. According to the United States Census Bureau, 28% of Nevada’s population identified as Hispanic or Latino in 2015. This was a 2 percentage point increase from 2010. At the same time, individuals who identified as white decreased from 54.1% to 50.7%. Because of these demographic changes, Trump may struggle to win the state due to his immigration policies and how they would impact the Hispanic community in the United States.

In the newest polls released from the state, Public Policy Polling and Public Opinion Strategies, Clinton holds significant leads over Trump. Interestingly, the two polls taken over the same time offer conflicting viewpoints on the Nevada senate race. Public Policy Polling took a strong stance that Dr. Joe Heck’s recent disavowal of Trump is seriously damaging his credibility with voters, while Public Opinion Strategies states that there is no evidence that the disavowal is hurting him.

Prediction: Overall, I think that Clinton will solidly carry Nevada in November, but I also believe that Dr. Joe Heck will be able to hold off Catherine Cortez-Masto and steal a seat for the GOP in the U.S. Senate, which could have a significant impact on whether or not the Democrats take retake majority control of the Senate this election cycle.

 

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