A blizzard of post-election stuff

This will be a continually updating blog with facts, analysis and musings about Election 2012:

LATEST: Heller's rural domination. I hadn't realized just how badly Rep. Shelley Berkley was destroyed in the cow counties. It's not just that Sen. Dean Heller all but wiped out her 60,000-vote edge in Clark County -- he won the rurals by 52,000 votes. But Heller got more votes in three of the cows -- Carson City, Douglas and Churchill -- than Berkley got in 15. A total destruction. And get this: Berkley received fewer votes in a presidential year in rural Nevada -- 34,281 -- than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did in 2010, an off-presidential year with much lower turnout -- 38,645. Reid lost the cows by 27,000 votes to Sharron Angle. I'd advise Berkley against going to the cowboy poetry festival anytime soon...

►1,688 people voted in the election but skipped the presidential race

18,577 did not vote in the U.S. Senate race. So add that to the 93,000-plus who voted for David Vanderbeek and “none of the above,” and more than 112,000 did not cast ballots for either of the major party candidates. Shelley Berkley lost by 12,000 votes.

In Clark County, 13,000 more people voted for president than in the U.S. Senate race.

In those five state Senate races that could have switched the upper house, 260,233 votes were cast; 4,935 votes decided those outcomes, less than 2 percent of the total. Or look at it this way: If about 2,500 votes had been different, every winner could have changed. Or, if you are Michael Roberson and really want to be frustrated, if 151 people in SD9 had voted differently, you would be majority leader.

Toward the end of the election, as the GOP was trying to turn out voters, the Republicans sent all kinds of social issues stuff – and a lot of it to independents. This is a strategy I don’t understand.

Clark County was 68 percent of the electorate (up a point from 2008), Washoe was 18 percent (down about a point) and the rurals were 14 percent (about the same).

Someone predicted about 70 percent of the Clark vote would come in early voting and absentees. It was 70.5 percent.

One of the big losers of the election: Caesars Entertainment. Still upset about the arena stuff, the company loaded up against now-Rep.-elect Steven Horsford and Democratic state Senate candidates. Whoops.

Scott Rasmussen, whose GOP-skewed polls were the worst of the season, was the featured speaker for NPRI the weekend before the election. Good choice, guys.

This notion that Nevada might not be a battleground state anymore is just silly –and I’m not saying that because I don’t want to retire the #wematter hashtag. The registration numbers and the Hispanic vote do favor Democrats, and GOP statewide candidates with credible opponents will be underdogs for the foreseeable future. Or at least have to worry. But the national Democrats will not take Nevada for granted, nor will the GOP simply give up on it. If the Republicans actually start to take a long-term view and if the governor and senator get involved – two big Ifs, I understand – that dynamic could change.

I wonder what would have happened had Byron Georgiou run against Dean Heller.

I wonder if Greg Brower, who barely won election, will still have the chutzpah to run for AG.

If Ross Miller decided to take on Brian Sandoval and the machine revved up again, that would be a real race. Won’t happen. But just saying…

Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn didn’t just let Karl Rove and others pour their money down a rathole. They also spent a lot of money in Nevada on what was touted as the greatest voter-contact program in history. At least they’ll always have Macau.

I see Treasurer Kate Marshall for SOS, SOS Ross Miller for AG, maybe Controller Kim Wallin for lieutenant governor in 2014. Too early?

Great assessment from one GOP strategist: “Finally – for now – I think the lesson is that as much as things evolve we are still roughly where we were before. Good Republican candidates can beat the machine individually, but Republicans as a whole in even up races are going to struggle. Strong Republican candidates like Wes Duncan and Heck and Hutchison won despite registration and real money spent against them. Mari St. Martin was a good candidate with a bad opponent in a tough district and almost pulled it off. Brower overcame a lot (and he had some help). So did Heller. Republicans are going to have to have better candidates that run better races to win – at least until there is a permanent structure built to help that includes voter registration, a compelling over-arching narrative, improved infrastructure and a long-term commitment to progress. Republicans get no mulligans.”

Clark turnout (80.5 percent) beat Washoe turnout (77.5 percent). Again. It's too bad northerners aren't as civic-minded.

Why primaries matter: Pat Spearman's defeat of John Lee in that primary looks even bigger now with the Democrats in control, 11-10. Imagine if Lee had won. Would he, perhaps, have switched parties and changed control of the upper house?

► From what I hear, Marilyn Kirkpatrick is speaker because the northern Democrats and Marcus Conklin supporters were with her. William Horne never really had a chance, I'm told. But her bringing him into the tent, making him majority leader, is a savvy frist move by the new speaker.
 
► Gov. Sunny's record wasn't so great in the election. Sure, he did that ad for Dean heller, who won. But he did little for Mitt Romney, except the last week or so, and he did not help the GOP take the state Senate. Maybe he should have saved his political capital for Session '13.

► People who shouid fade away after the election but, alas, probably will not: Veterans in Politics boss Steve Sanson -- illiterate intimidator who too many candidates bow to; Wayne Allyn Root -- predicted Romney landslide, said POTUS was foreign-exchange student, embraced by GOP here; Donald Trump -- need I explain? Feel free to send suggestions.