Examples of activity by the campaigns, parties
and allied groups: D,
allies | R.
Nevada Continues Democratic
The Democratic ticket has carried Nevada since 2008. In
2018 Democrats enjoyed significant electoral successes (+
The Feb. 22, 2020 caucuses were a key turning point in the
Democratic primary campaign, representing the high point for
Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden's best showing to date, a second
place finish (+
Meanwhile Republicans, with the incumbent president seeking
re-election, opted not to hold caucuses. In the general
election, less than nine months later, the Biden-Harris ticket
won the state's six electoral votes with a plurality of 33,596
votes (2.39 percentage points), about the same margin as
Clinton's win in 2016 (2.42 percentage points). AP did
not call Nevada until Nov. 6, after Pennsylvania had settled
the race for Biden.
A Sept. 9, 2020 report by WalletHub (>
found Nevada is the ninth most diverse state, ranking
particularly high in birthplace diversity (1), cultural
diversity (2) and racial and ethnic diversity (3). The
campaigns focused in particular on the Latino vote. The
Pew Research Center (>
reported on Jan. 31, 2020 that the Latino population in Nevada
was 881,000 of 3,034,000 (29.0%) and that 19.7% of the
eligible voter population (407,000 of 2,071,000) is
Latino. During Biden's vice presidential search, Sen.
Cortez-Masto was mentioned as a possible candidate for the
ticket, but she withdrew her name from consideration on May
28. Since the 2018 mid-term elections, Nevada has had
two women U.S. Senators, two of four members of the U.S. House
are women, and it became the first state to have a female
majority legislature. In terms of partisanship, in Nov.
2020, Democrats held a registration edge of 4.80 percentage
points (37.3% to 32.50%) down somewhat from 6.09 percentage
points(39.44% to 33.37%) in Nov. 2016.
Despite the pandemic, Trump and surrogates managed a fairly
steady stream of visits
including the large rallies favored by the president.
Authorities did push back in several instances (1
). The Trump
International Hotel in Las Vegas provided a stopping point for
Trump on his western trips, and he overnighted there a number
of times. The Democratic candidates and surrogates made
fewer visits, doing drive-in rallies and small socially
distanced events. Biden only visited once, on Oct. 9;
Harris, from neighboring California, put in three visits, and
her husband made a couple as well. Data from AdImpact
show that from May 1 to Nov. 3, Biden and allies outspent
Trump and allies on advertising
in Nevada by more than 3 to 1, $27.2 million to $8.1
Republicans had a solid ground game. According to an
article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal
restarted in-person field operations on June 8. On Oct.
17, the first day of early voting, the campaign announced it
had made over three million voter contacts, and on Oct. 27 it
marked one million doors knocked.
A post-election memo from the Nevada State Democratic Party
summarized, "Through robust voter education, a dogged field
program, an expansive voter protection team, and a historic
ballot cure program, NV Dems held majorities in both
legislative houses, three of four congressional seats, and
carried Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to victory."
much more of a virtual emphasis through
the summer. However, according to the state party in the
final four months of the campaign, Democrats recruited nearly
10,000 volunteers, knocked more than 600,000 doors, lit
dropped nearly 50,000 doors, made more than 7.1 million calls,
and sent more than 4 million text messages.
Democrats' efforts were bolstered by the Culinary Union which
ran "the largest political program ever in its history."
The program, which launched on August 1, had 500 workers
canvassing in Las Vegas and Reno and reported knocking on
500,000 doors, reaching "half of the Black and Latinx voters
in Nevada," talking to 130,000 voters, all while using
"'contactless door-to-door canvassing' protocols to minimize
risk." In addition, the union's strategic communications
program "included 1.9 million emails and texts, completely
in-house polling, digital persuasion social media ads
targeting Nevada voters, [and] 'Trump Lies' video ads with
over 11.4 million views."
Jon Ralston, veteran Nevada political commentator and founder
of The Nevada Independent
, summarized the race thusly,
The Democrats always had an advantage here, and the
Republicans knew that. But towards the end, when Trump
needed alternative paths, they looked for possible swing
states and Nevada, because of Clinton's margin, was a
Nevada was one of six states where the Trump campaign and
Republicans engaged in a significant post-election legal
effort. They laid the groundwork in the latter part of
October, focusing on ballot processing in Clark Co..