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Nevada Today

Nevada Today is a nonpartisan, independently owned and operated site dedicated to providing up-to-date news and smart analysis on the issues that impact Nevada's communities and businesses.

2020 ElectionNews and information

Hindsight 2020: Fleeting Las Vegas

Throughout the 2020 election cycle, outgoing President Donald Trump and his campaign tried to flip Nevada into the red column. Once again, they came close. Yet once again, they just couldn’t get past Democrats’ success in turning out their voters during early voting.

So why did Nevada even end up this close? Short answer: Clark County. Longer answer: We have the receipts, as in – precinct results, to explain.

Yes, we have the receipts!
Joe Biden, 2020 Election
Photo by Andrew Davey

If you remember our “Blueprint for a Blue Wave” series from 2018, you know that I don’t like to hide my methodology from you. To see how I calculated these numbers, check out the full raw Clark County Statement of Vote landing page, which includes precinct reports from 2020, 2016, and other past elections dating back to 1992. For the sake of brevity, we’ll focus today on comparing and contrasting the 2020 results with 2016’s. 

To better keep track of where we’re going, here are Clark County’s map collection, the Nevada Secretary of State’s election results page that includes down-ballot races, and The Economist’s 2020 election national results page that includes some valuable breakdowns of the overall results. 

Also keep in mind that “NVLeg” is an abbreviation for the Nevada Legislature. While all Assembly Districts (AD’s) were up this year, Senate Districts (SD’s) are staggered between presidential years and midterm years. 

Clark Precinct 4605 (Downtown Las Vegas, south of Fremont)
Photo by Andrew Davey

President

Biden 70.06%, Biden’s raw vote was 144.21% of Hillary Clinton’s

Trump 27.93%, Trump’s 2020 raw vote was 137.61% of his 2016 vote

NV-01

Titus 69.15%, Titus’ raw vote was 93.92% of Biden’s

Bentley 25.68%, Bentley’s raw vote was 87.5% of Trump’s

(NVLeg SD 2 is not up until 2022)

NVLeg AD 11

Duran 71.80%, Duran’s raw vote was 95.27% of Biden’s

Krattiger 28.20%, Krattiger’s raw vote was 93.86% of Trump’s

Turnout was 72.30% of registered voters

Clark Precinct 4536 (Home to the world-famous East Las Vegas Cardenas)

President

Biden 71.10%, Biden’s raw vote was 110.93% of Hillary Clinton’s

Trump 26.68%, Trump’s 2020 raw vote was 157.59% of his 2016 vote

NV-01

Titus 71.89%, Titus’ raw vote was 96.63% of Biden’s

Bentley 21.99%, Bentley’s raw vote was 78.74% of Trump’s (in 2020)

(NVLeg SD 2 is not up until 2022)

NVLeg AD 28

Flores 78.00%, Flores’ raw vote was 100.37% of Biden’s

Bousley 22.00%, Bousley’s raw vote was 75.42% of Trump’s

Turnout was 70.71% of registered voters

Clark Precinct 4546 (East Las Vegas Community Center)

President

Biden 70.61%, Biden’s raw vote was 127.17% of Hillary Clinton’s

Trump 27.57%, Trump’s 2020 raw vote was 194.50% of his 2016 vote

NV-01

Titus 70.40%, Titus’ raw vote was 95.03% of Biden’s

Bentley 23.87%, Bentley’s raw vote was 82.55% of Trump’s (in 2020)

(NVLeg SD 10 is not up until 2022)

NVLeg AD 15

Watts 73.54%, Watts’ raw vote was 95.21% of Biden’s

Vaughan 26.46%, Vaughan’s raw vote was 87.74% of Trump’s

Turnout was 58.16% of registered voters

Joe Biden, 2020 Election
Photo by Andrew Davey

If anyone still wonders why Assembly Member Edgar Flores (D-Las Vegas) organized events like his cabalgata in East Las Vegas in September, and why community activist groups like the Culinary Union and Make the Road Nevada Action treated this election like the ultimate heavy lift despite the public polls mostly showing President-elect Joe Biden with leads outside the margin of error, wonder no more. Biden actually earned more votes in 2020 in these mostly Latinx neighborhoods than Hillary Clinton did in 2016, though Trump scored even more votes this year than he did four years prior. We can only wonder what would have happened had these groups not responded so quickly to Trump’s and his allies’ massive online (and offline/in-person) disinformation strategy.

For all the national pundit chatter about “how Hispanics swung to Trump”, the actual portrait we’re discovering in these results is far more complex and complicated. Biden still won these areas convincingly, and Rep. Dina Titus (D-Las Vegas) and state legislators like Assembly Members Edgar Flores, Howard Watts (D-Las Vegas), and Bea Duran (D-Las Vegas) actually did a better job at holding Biden voters than past Democratic candidates who suffered more from “down-ballot drop-off”. Biden just underperformed Hillary Clinton when it comes to their respective over Trump, and that can largely be explained by his campaign’s delays in doing Latinx voter outreach.

We’ll get into more detail soon on how Democrats cemented their 2016 and 2018 gains in more “creative class” oriented urban neighborhoods, but suffice to say that Precinct 4605 in Downtown Las Vegas offers a real world example of how urban and suburban college-educated professionals have become a more prominent component of Democrats’ winning coalition.

Clark Precinct 4461 (West Las Vegas – Pearson Center)
Joe Biden, 2020 Election
Photo by Andrew Davey

President

Biden 87.84%, Biden’s raw vote was 117.42% of Hillary Clinton’s

Trump 10.33%, Trump’s 2020 raw vote was 167.19% of his 2016 vote

NV-04

Horsford 88.37%, Horsford’s raw vote was 99.34% of Biden’s

Marchant 8.41%, Marchant’s raw vote was 80.37% of Trump’s (in 2020)

NVLeg SD 4

Neal 89.01%, Neal’s raw vote was 97.03% of Biden’s

Hickman 10.99%, Hickman’s raw vote was 101.87% of Trump’s

NVLeg AD 6

Summers-Armstrong 89.06%, Summers-Armstrong’s raw vote was 95.71% of Biden’s

Duncan 10.94%, Duncan’s raw vote was 100% of Trump’s

Turnout was 59.32% of registered voters

Clark Precinct 3365 (Summerlin North – TPC Summerlin)

President

Biden 51.50%, Biden’s raw vote was 122.26% of Hillary Clinton’s

Trump 47.13%, Trump’s 2020 raw vote was 94.16% of Trump’s 2016 vote

NV-04

Horsford 49.28%, Horsford’s raw vote was 91.26% of Biden’s

Marchant 49.28% (Marchant won this precinct by one vote!), Marchant’s raw vote was 100% of Trump’s (in 2020)

NVLeg SD 6

Cannizzaro 47.10%, Cannizzaro’s raw vote was 86.65% of Biden’s

Becker 52.90%, Becker’s raw vote was 94.69% of Trump’s

NVLeg AD 34

Bilbray-Axelrod 51.76%, Bilbray-Axelrod’s raw vote was 92.96% of Biden’s

Carlson 48.24%, Carlson’s raw vote was 94.69% of Trump’s

Turnout was 90.81% of registered voters

Clark Precinct 3706 (Northwest Las Vegas – Providence)

President

Biden 51.25%, Biden’s raw vote was 159.25% of Hillary Clinton’s

Trump 46.57%, Trump’s 2020 raw vote was 146.02% of his 2016 vote

NV-04

Horsford 48.69%, Horsford’s raw vote was 91.05% of Biden’s

Marchant 47.37%, Marchant’s raw vote was 97.48% of Trump’s (in 2020)

(NVLeg SD 19 and AD 36 were uncontested in 2020.)

Turnout was 99.81% of registered voters

Photo by Andrew Davey

In West Las Vegas’ Precinct 4461, we see a similar story to the East Las Vegas precincts. Though Biden won huge here and in other historically Black neighborhoods, Trump probably did get a large amount of newly registered and typically low-propensity voters to turn out for him. Yet also like those East Las Vegas precincts, those new Trump voters did little to help former Assembly Member Jim Marchant (R) close the gap with Rep. Steven Horsford (D-North Las Vegas) in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District (NV-04).

Though Marchant did far better in the whiter, more suburban, and far more upscale NV-04 neighborhoods of Providence and Summerlin North, Marchant actually fared worse here than former Rep. Cresent Hardy (R) did in these same neighborhoods in 2016 and 2018. Keep in mind that Trump actually narrowly carried Precinct 3365 in 2016, that Hillary Clinton only barely won Precinct 3706, and that down-ballot Republicans historically did far better in these areas.

Still, with all that said, we can’t help but remember Cindy McCain’s warning in October that just because she was voting for Biden doesn’t mean that Democrats can always count on her support. Because so many of these suburban swing voters are so accustomed to voting for Republicans across the ballot, we can better understand why State Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro (D-Las Vegas) only barely won her own race this year. Even though her opponent, April Becker (R), offered no contrition for the 2017-18 recall campaign that was largely driven by brazen lust for power, that made almost no difference to suburban ticket-splitters who were determined to split their tickets for down-ballot Republicans no matter what.

Clark Precinct 6752 (Southwest Valley – Mountain’s Edge)
Photo by Andrew Davey

President

Biden 49.62%, Biden’s raw vote was 87.16% of Hillary Clinton’s 

Trump 48.23%, Trump’s 2020 raw vote was 89.64% of his 2016 vote

NV-03

Lee 50.63%, Lee’s raw vote was 98.48% of Biden’s

Rodimer 44.08%, Rodimer’s raw vote was 88.21% of Trump’s (in 2020)

(NVLeg SD 9 is not up until 2022.)

NVLeg AD 35

Gorelow 50.31%, Gorelow’s raw vote was 96.26% of Biden’s

Calhoun 49.69%, Calhoun’s raw vote was 97.83% of Trump’s

Turnout was 88.73% of registered voters

Clark Precinct 1510 (Henderson – Anthem Country Club)

President

Biden 34.62%, Biden’s raw vote was 125.28% of Hillary Clinton’s vote

Trump 64.34%, Trump’s 2020 raw vote was 117.08% of his 2016 vote

NV-03

Lee 35.12%, Lee’s raw vote was 98.49% of Biden’s vote

Rodimer 61.98%, Rodimer’s raw vote was 93.52% of Trump’s vote (in 2020)

(NVLeg SD 12 is not up until 2022)

NVLeg AD 23

Foutz 27.72%, Foutz’s raw vote was 76.81% of Biden’s

Leavitt 70.87%, Leavitt’s raw vote was 105.67% of Trump’s

Turnout was 91.44% of registered voters

Clark Precinct 7635 (Henderson – Green Valley Ranch)

President

Biden 51.38%, Biden’s raw vote was 117.59% of Hillary Clinton’s

Trump 46.67%, Trump’s 2020 raw vote was 114.97% of his 2016 vote

NV-03

Lee 51.37%, Lee’s raw vote was 95.98% of Biden’s

Rodimer 44.21%, Rodimer’s raw vote was 90.91% of Trump’s (in 2020)

(NVLeg SD 20 is not up until 2022, and NVLeg AD 22 was uncontested in 2020)

Turnout was 93.40% of registered voters

Clark Precinct 7414 (Henderson – Cornerstone Park)
Photo by Andrew Davey

President

Biden 56.65%, Biden’s raw vote was 241.38% of Hillary Clinton’s

Trump 41.93%, Trump’s 2020 raw vote was 191.90% of his 2016 vote

NV-03

Lee 56.29%, Lee’s raw vote was 95.54% of Biden’s

Rodimer 38.77%, Rodimer’s raw vote was 88.90% of Trump’s (in 2020)

NVLeg SD 5

Watson 54.58%, Watson’s raw vote was 91.52% of Biden’s

Buck 42.76%, Buck’s raw vote was 96.86% of Trump’s

NVLeg AD 29

Cohen 57.48%, Cohen’s raw vote was 96.07% of Biden’s

Delisle 42.52%, Delisle’s raw vote was 96.02% of Trump’s

Turnout was 89.97% of registered voters

Clark Precinct 7693 (Henderson – Green Valley South)

President

Biden 54.89%, Biden’s raw vote was 125.55% of Hillary Clinton’s

Trump 43.28%, Trump’s 2020 raw vote was 114.81% of his 2016 vote

NV-03

Lee 54.61%, Lee’s raw vote was 94.38% of Biden’s

Rodimer 40.36%, Rodimer’s raw vote was 88.46% of Trump’s (in 2020)

NVLeg SD 5

Watson 51.01%, Watson’s raw vote was 88.09% of Biden’s

Buck 46.05%, Buck’s raw vote was 100.85% of Trump’s

NVLeg AD 21

Marzola 53.38%, Marzola’s raw vote was 91.03% of Biden’s

Arrington 46.62%, Arrington’s raw vote was 79.52% of Trump’s

Turnout was 89.07% of registered voters

Photo by Andrew Davey

Though I clearly wasn’t right about everything, at least I got this correct: Dan Rodimer (R) was a terrible fit for Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District (NV-03). Despite his every effort to tie himself to Trump, he consistently held onto fewer Trump voters than Rep. Susie Lee (D-Las Vegas) held onto Biden voters. Even in these “classically suburban” Henderson precincts where other down-ballot Democrats ran further behind Biden, Lee’s margins over Rodimer were actually slightly better than Biden’s over Trump. This was especially rough on candidates like Kristee Watson (D) in SD 5, where even these relatively low amounts of down-ballot drop-off and possible ticket-splitting proved to be politically fatal.

Here in NV-03, we also see a clear divide between areas like the Southwest Valley that were hit hard by the previous recession and getting hit hard by the current recession, and areas like Anthem in Henderson that once again turned in some of the highest turnout rates in Clark County. As we discussed last month, one of the great ironies of this election is that the incumbent who presided over this economic collapse tried to win on “the economy”, and that the challenger who ultimately won padded his margins with voters who were spared the worst of this economic collapse.

As you can now see, there’s no “one size fits all” narrative that neatly describes what happened here in Nevada this year. In case today’s Clark County report wasn’t complex enough for you, just wait until tomorrow. We’re going to Washoe, and I have a whole lot of Reno 411 to unload for you.

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