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On to…Nevada?

February 10, 2016

It’s interesting that in the wake of New Hampshire, the candidates and the media are focused on South Carolina and the impact of the black vote in that state.

Nevada is essentially fly-over country for most people fitting those two descriptions.

Nevada is a caucus state with split voting dates, Democrats caucusing on February 20 and Republicans on February 23, a full week ahead of South Carolina

Apparently unnoticed or at least under-valued by the media is that Nevada will be the first test of the Hispanic vote.

Given that Donald Trump’s main campaign platform has such a large immigration plank, that seems rather short-sighted.

Las Vegas is the largest city in Nevada, with its close neighbors Henderson and North Las Vegas checking in at number 2 and 3.

Las Vegas employment is heavily dependent on the hospitality and gaming industries, with the top five employers, all in that industry group, employing 116,180 people as of April 15, 2015.

17.4% of Nevada’s residents are of Hispanic/Latino descent according to 2014 U.S. Census Bureau statistics. The two highest dollar revenue industries are  hospitality and healthcare, both of whom tend to have a lower-income workforce.  The poverty rate is 14.8%,  lower than South Carolina’s 18%, again according to the Census Bureau.

Nevada also has a fairly large number of retired persons at 14.2%, just shy of the average of 14.5% nationally, many of whom live on modest fixed incomes.

Nevada has more than twice as many residents as New Hampshire, with a reported 2014 total of 2.839 million.

The state tends to lean left, with nearly 586K registered Democrats to 493K for Republicans, out of a total of 1.47 million registered voters. 295K are listed as nonpartisan, with a little more than 93K aligned with other parties like the American Independent or Libertarians.

On the face of it, Nevada would seem to be a natural win for a Democrat or even a socialist, particularly if the odds-on choice on the other side is Donald Trump, he of the ” deport them all” philosophy.

While Trump’s popularity remains to be tested, the Hispanic voting bloc can’t be totally oblivious to what it would mean for their employers to be taxed at 45, 50 or 90% of their income.

In addition, if there is truth to the tale that legal Hispanic immigrants are also threatened by massive numbers of illegal immigrants, this is the first state to test that hypothesis.

Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have both had strong positions on illegal immigration, but both have evolved on the subject, with Rubio currently portrayed as the slightly more moderate voice.

That leaves the field open for either of those two candidates, as well as Jeb Bush to take a strong run at Trump and the Democrats as well.

Viva Las Vegas!

From → op-ed

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