During the final hours of early voting in Nevada, Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Henderson) and Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak (D) joined renowned comedian Jimmy Kimmel, superstar musicians Brandon Flowers and Andra Day, and a few hundred Nevada Democrats at the First Friday Art Walk in Downtown Las Vegas to celebrate the end of early voting and encourage those who haven’t voted yet to do so next Tuesday.
As of tonight, Nevada Democrats probably have over 15,000 reasons to celebrate.
Where do things stand tonight?
After a blockbuster penultimate day of early voting, Nevada Democrats propelled themselves to a 14,502 voter turnout lead (or slightly over 2.5%) once all the Thursday votes were counted. While Republicans have built a sturdy lead in the rural counties, Democrats have held onto a slight lead in Washoe County as they’ve been building a formidable “firewall” of a lead in Clark County. While that “Clark County Democratic firewall” stood just under 38,000 votes as of this afternoon, it’s virtually guaranteed to finish above 40,000 tonight.
Why’s that? As of 9:00 PM, some 48,000 Nevadans have voted just here in Clark County today. If Democrats just win today’s vote by roughly the same margin as they did yesterday (13%), then we’ll likely see another 6,000 or more votes added to the “firewall”.
Meanwhile up north, long lines have kept several voting sites open for extended hours in Washoe County. At the Downtown Las Vegas rally, Democratic insiders alternated between cautious optimism and exuberant joy in analyzing and describing the early voting results. While they noted the top-of-the-ticket races remain close, they also pointed to the big turnout and growing Democratic turnout leads as strong signs for a happy Tuesday night.
“If it’s worth fighting for, it’s a fight worth having.”
– Senator Kamala Harris (D-California)
Senator Kamala Harris is not only from the state next door that certain Republicans love to vilify for its booming economy and diverse population, but she’s also widely considered a leading 2020 presidential candidate. At tonight’s rally, Harris called on Nevadans to use their votes to fight back against President Donald Trump’s xenophobic agenda.
“This is a moment in time that’s an inflection point in our history,” Harris said. She continued, “This is a moment in time that requires us to fight for who we are. If it’s worth fighting for, it’s a fight worth having!”
Harris then fired back against Trump’s framing of the resistance to his agenda as an “angry leftist mob” by countering, “This is a fight born out of love for this country. Fight for it we will!”
“You deserve a Senator who will always put Nevada first, regardless of what [out-of-state] political leaders want.”
– Rep. Jacky Rosen
After performances by Andra Day and The Killers, Rosen spoke about why she’s running for the U.S. Senate. As Rosen noted this past Wednesday was Nevada Day, she exclaimed, “We’re Nevada! We’re the Battle Born State. We’re independent. We’re fighters!”
Rosen continued, “You deserve a Senator who will always put Nevada first, regardless of what [out-of-state] political leaders want.”
Rosen then contrasted her record with Senator Dean Heller’s (R) and repeated the points she’s been making on the campaign trail on the critical issue of health care. Tonight Rosen reiterated an increasingly popular line on the campaign trail: “[Heller] says he wants to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. We say we’re going to repeal and replace Dean Heller!”
“As your Senator, Jacky Rosen will fight for affordable health care for all, which is so important. Dean Heller is a pre-existing condition that Nevada can no longer afford.”
– Jimmy Kimmel
Over the past year, Jimmy Kimmel has made a name for himself in pushing back against Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Tonight, the Las Vegas native returned to his original hometown to add some exclamation points to Rosen’s closing argument.
According to Kimmel, “At a time where his country is so divided, Jacky Rosen is one of the most bipartisan members of the House.” He continued, “She is the rare politician who is committed to actually solving problems. As your Senator, Jacky Rosen will fight for affordable health care for all, which is so important. Dean Heller is a pre-existing condition that Nevada can no longer afford.”
Kimmel also noted how Nevadans can register their disapproval with Heller’s (and Trump’s) actions: “We have real power when we step in the voting booth.” He and several other speakers repeatedly urged anyone in the crowd who hadn’t yet voted to take the shuttle to vote early at Clark County Government Center before early voting ends.
Judging by today’s turnout, it looks like at least 50,000 Nevadans have just taken Kimmel’s advice to heart… And to the ballot box.