October 29, 2004

Situated in the Silver State

For the politically inclined out in predictably Democratic California, it's easy to be jealous of the battleground dwellers. They get to watch all the ads, be in on the whisper campaigns, and — mirabile dictu — the candidates come to ask them for their votes, not just the maximum allowable contribution. Able to countenance the situation no longer, I ventured to Nevada in search of a world where mailboxes are full of campaign literature, phonebanks flourish, and political advertising rules the airwaves.

To start, a brief rundown of the campaign in Nevada. John Kerry was in Las Vegas on Tuesday and Bill Clinton put in an appearance in Las Vegas on Friday, as Democrats try to wrest Nevada from the Bush column. Though the latest Zogby numbers show the President opening up a comfortable lead, Dick Cheney is holding two Monday campaign events in Nevada just to be safe.

Nevada is one of the states that has early voting, so Cheney's visit will have no effect on the 266,387 voters (out of 1,071,101 registered) who took advantage of early voting before it ended Friday. (Early voting does not include absentee ballots; early voting numbers Friday have not yet been released for Douglas and Lyon counties). In the 2000 presidential election, 206,330 of the state's 876,888 registered voters voted early.

As for the television advertising, the candidates, the political parties, and 527s have spent 18 million dollars in Nevada. I watched local newscasts Friday night on a couple different networks and was bombarded with a staggering amount of political advertising. I'll offer a full report on that and the political mailings I've been able to look at in a later post.

Posted by Elliott Wainwright at October 29, 2004 11:42 PM