Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.
Statistical analyst Nate Silver’s website, FiveThirtyEight, lists a metric called the “voter power index,” defined as “the relative likelihood that an individual voter in a state will determine the Electoral College winner.” Until very recently, Nevada was listed second on that list. (At least once this year, it was at the very top.) The power ratings are adjusted based on recent polls, and Nevada fell a bit—at press time, down to sixth, right behind Pennsylvania—after the first presidential debate, the aftermath of which saw Clinton get a sizable bump in the polls.
But the presidential race is still very competitive in the state, just as it has been in other recent presidential elections. Nevada is a hotly contested swing state. That’s why we got a lot of visits from the nominees.
And here’s something Northern Nevadans need to remember: Clark County is likely to go blue, and the rural counties will likely all go red. So Washoe County will likely determine which presidential candidate will get the state’s electoral college votes.
At this point, it’s hard to imagine a voter who might still be undecided. It seems like the two sides are fairly well entrenched—the outcome will likely come down to turnout.
But there are also those undecided voters who are torn between voting for Clinton and voting for a third-party candidate. I can perhaps understand the appeal of voting for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein, who won’t even be on the ballot here, but you get either of them away from the core issues of their respective parties and ask them difficult questions about foreign policy, for example, and they often appear out of their depth.
And as the swing county in a swing state, we Washoe County residents have real voting power. And, just in case you never read Spider-Man comics, with great power comes great responsibility.Brad Bynum