Romney, Ryan blow through Nevada – but is it too late?

It was a day candidates couldn’t help giving windy political speeches.

The line of partisans Tuesday morning stretched around the Henderson Pavilion and well down Paseo Verde Parkway. Some hauled homemade signs, others folding beach chairs. All were motivated to brave the breeze to hear reassuring words from Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan on the day after the final debate of the presidential campaign season.

The location was no accident. For some local Republicans, one of the unwritten final scenes of the campaign is set in battleground Nevada with the final votes that swing our state and the entire election coming from precincts right in the heart of Green Valley.

A Team Romney spokesman calls Henderson the “epicenter” of the “economic catastrophe” they argue occurred under the Obama administration. It made an ideal setting for making metaphors about a failing economy and housing crisis.

If Nevada’s six electoral votes turn out to make a big difference in the election and Team Romney’s dream comes true, officials on the ground will look politically prescient. The thousands who attended Tuesday’s rally will be able to look back fondly and remember the time they turned out to support future President Romney and Vice President Ryan in their first tandem appearance in Nevada.

Or not.

The problem with dramatic scenarios is this: With early voting becoming increasingly popular, the degree of turnout “enthusiasm” will be known well before Nov. 6, and in Nevada.

Democrats hold a six-figure voter registration advantage. Results from the first days of early voting appear to reflect that substantial Democratic advantage.

Four years ago, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin packed the pavilion and thrilled thousands. She was pop-star popular and gave a polished stump speech.

It made absolutely no difference in the final outcome. Standing in the long shadow of the final years of the George W. Bush presidency, the McCain-Palin ticket got slaughtered.

But now it’s Obama fatigue that Republicans are feeling, and this time they have an undeniable softening of support for the president from working-class voters who loathed Bush but have now gone cold for the incumbent.

The Obama campaign has countered the sagging of its middle with middle-class themes and a massive registration effort among Latino, college and new voters.

In Nevada, with its superior Democratic political machine thanks to the efforts of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, registration favors the Ds even if the mood favors the Rs.

And so they fight on.

Each side continues to go to great lengths to remind wary Nevada voters just how important we are. (Smart, savvy, ethical, discerning, and good-looking, too!) I suppose experiencing around-the-clock stalking by campaigns and all those creepy third-party television commercials is a compliment in an Orwellian sort of way.

Team Romney Nevada spokesman Mason Harrison calls the Silver State the campaign’s “canary in the coal mine,” meaning they believe it’s an accurate snapshot of a bigger political picture.

What he needn’t say is that Romney and Ryan were on the ground Tuesday because they believed they could help boost the campaign’s get-out-the-vote effort.

“If there’s a state that’s really been impacted by the national economy, it’s Nevada,” Harrison says. “Them coming out here after all the debates and beginning their closing argument in Nevada is important.”

Obama, meanwhile, isn’t resting on Monday’s debate performance. (He rested enough during the first debate to last the rest of the campaign.)

He will lead a rally at Doolittle Park tonight that features the renowned pop star and political scientist Katy Perry. (Remember the youth vote.)

Perhaps the president appreciates that, at this point, the last thing his supporters need to hear is another stump speech.

While Republicans might be right, and Henderson might turn out to be campaign’s tipping point, I am inclined to think that moment for Nevada could already be occurring in a working-class Latino neighborhood like the ones United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez and Nevada Democrats canvassed last weekend in an effort to get out the vote and help congressional candidate Steven Horsford.

Rodriguez carries real credibility in the Hispanic community.

“I think the canvassing shows that there’s a lot of energy being put into this race in terms of crossing the finish line,” Horsford campaign spokesman Tim Hogan says. “We have a lot of support out there to help us do that. People are still very energized about the race.”

And early votes count just as much as those cast on Election Day.

After the experts have opined, the obscene millions have been spent, and most of the speeches have floated away on the late October wind, neither side of the great presidential race is certain it has Nevada figured out.

And that’s why we’re still being courted.

John L. Smith’s column appears Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Email him at or call 702-383-0295. He blogs at

VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System hosts Veterans Day Car Show and BBQ
The 4th Annual Veterans Day Car Show and BBQ is held in celebration of Veterans Day at the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System Medical Center in North Las Vegas, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Wildfires in Southern California
Wildfires hit Ventura County, Calif., on Nov. 9, 2018. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dedication of Nevada's Battle Born memorial
The state of Nevada on Friday dedicated its Battle Born memorial honoring 895 state residents who have died in America’s wars.
Las Vegas police and Sunrise Children's Hospital hope to prevent infant deaths
The Metropolitan Police Department and Sunrise Children's Hospital held a press conference to get the message out on preventable infant deaths attributed to "co-sleeping" and other unsafe sleeping habits. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
No serious injuries after car hits tree in south Las Vegas
One person reported minor injuries but wasn’t hospitalized after a Wednesday morning crash in the south valley.
Nellis Air Force Base keeps airmen fed
Nellis Air Force Bass airmen have delicious and healthy food items, and a variety of dining facilities to choose from. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Suspicious package found at central Las Vegas post office
Las Vegas police determined that a suspicious package found Monday morning at a central valley post office was not a threat.
Suspicious package found at central Las Vegas post office
Police evacuated the area around the Garside Station post office early Monday morning near Oakey and Decatur boulevards.
With husband's passing, family in limbo for workers' comp claim
Meredith Tracy's husand, Russell Tracy, died more than a year ago on his first day working for a new company when he fell 22 feet into a manhole that was not properly safeguarded. His employer was fined $82,000 in penalties for unsafe practices, but the company has denied her workers' compensation claim, leaving her with no compensation since the death. Rachel Aston Las Vegas Review-Journal @rookie__rae
With husband's passing, family in limbo for workers' comp claim
Meredith Tracy's husand, Russell Tracy, died more than a year ago on his first day working for a new company when he fell 22 feet into a manhole that was not properly safeguarded. His employer was fined $82,000 in penalties for unsafe practices, but the company has denied her workers' compensation claim, leaving her with no compensation since the death. Rachel Aston Las Vegas Review-Journal @rookie__rae
Las Vegas family shares flu warning
Carlo and Brenda Occhipinti lost their son, Carlo Jr., or “Junior,” to the flu last year.
Author Randall Cannon shares an anecdote about Stadust Raceway
Author Randall Cannon shares an anecdote about Dan Blocker, who played Hoss Cartwright on the TV show "Bonanza," and the actor's passion for auto racing at Stardust International Raceway in Las Vegas during the 1960s. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal.)
Project Neon 85 percent complete
On Wednesday morning Oct. 31, Interstate 15 northbound lane restrictions were removed opening up Exit 41 to Charleston Blvd. On Thursday Nov. 1, Interstate 15 southbound lane restrictions were removed. The new southbound off-ramp to Sahara Ave. and Highland Dr. also opened Thursday, November 1. With Project Neon 85% finished the flow of traffic on Interstate 15 has substantially diminished. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Girl killed after jumping from bridge onto 215 Beltway in Henderson
Eastbound lanes of the 215 Beltway are shut down by the Nevada Highway Patrol after a female juvenile jumped from the 215 overpass at Stephanie and was struck by a FedEx tractor trailer. Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal @Vegas88s
Kristallnacht story
An interview with 94-year-old Holocaust survivor Alexander Kuechel who survived seven concentration camps and didn’t leave Germany until after World War II was over. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1 dead in central Las Vegas crash
An early Wednesday morning crash left at least one person dead and another injured. The crash was reported just around 3 a.m. at the intersection of Flamingo Road and Swenson Street. At least two vehicles were involved in the crash, one of which caught fire. Debris was scattered across the intersection as police combed the area as they investigated the scene. Flamingo is blocked in both directions between Swenson and Cambridge Street. Northbound Swenson is blocked at the intersection.
Richard Knoeppel named the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year
Richard Knoeppel, an architecture design instructor at the Advanced technologies Academy, named the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year on Monday, Oct. 29, 2018. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mojave Poppy Bees
(Zach Portman/University of Minnesota Department of Entomology) Male Mojave poppy bees exhibit territorial fighting behavior. The Center for Biological Diversity wants the bee, found only in Clark County, to be added to the endangered species list.
Clark County Schools announce random searches
Clark County School District middle and high school students will be subject to random searches for weapons under a new initiative to combat the wave of guns found on campus. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss React to Dennis Hof's Death
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss speak about their friend and prominent brothel owner Dennis Hof's death at Dennis Hof's Love Ranch. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof has died
Nevada brothel owner and Republican candidate for Nevada State Assembly District 36, Dennis Hof has died. He was 72. Nye County Sherriff's office confirmed. Hof owned Love Ranch brothel, located in Crystal, Nevada.
Las Vegas police investigate suspicious package at shopping center
Las Vegas police evacuated a southeast valley shopping center at Flamingo and Sandhill roads early Tuesday morning while they investigated reports of a suspicious package. (Max Michor/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Las Vegas Metro hosts the K-9 Trials
The Las Vegas Metro K-9 Trials returns to the Orleans Arena to benefit the Friends For Las Vegas Police K-9 group.
Kingman residents love their little town
Residents of Kingman, Ariz. talk about how they ended up living in the Route 66 town, and what they love about their quiet community. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Service at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Twelve unclaimed veterans are honored at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City in Oct. 9, 2018. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas house prices reach highest level in 11 years
Las Vegas house prices are rising But so is the amount of available homes on the market Still, properties priced below $300,000 are selling fast And September was the first time since June 2007 that the median house price reached the $300,000 mark Las Vegas home prices have been rising at one of the fastest rates in the country over the past year Recent data show the market is now less affordable than the national average
National Night Out
About 100 Summerlin residents gathered at Park Centre Dr. in Summerlin on Tuesday for National Night Out. Lt. Joshua Bitsko with Las Vegas Metro, played with 3-year-old David who was dressed as a police officer. Face painting, fire truck tours and more kept kids busy as parents roamed behind them. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rural homeless issue comes to a head in Pahrump
On Sept. 12, Pahrump sheriff deputies told residents of a homeless encampment on private property that they had 15 minutes to vacate and grab their belongings. That decision might face some legal consequences. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remembrance blood drive on October 1
A blood drive was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center on the one year anniversary of the Oct. 1 shooting. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remembrance Lights memorial unveiled at St. Rose hospital
A dedication ceremony was held at St. Rose to unveil a memorial and to read the names of those who died on October 1, a year ago. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like