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April 24, 2015

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Voters cite economy, state’s future in choosing candidates


Justin M. Bowen

Jeff Dougherty votes during Election Day at the Paseo Verde Library in Henderson Tuesday, November 2, 2010.

Updated Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010 | 5:50 p.m.

Sun politics editor discusses Election Day

Las Vegas Sun political editor Michael Squires discuss today's election on KSNV's 4 p.m. newscast.

Voting in West Las Vegas

Helen Washington votes during Election Day at the West Las Vegas Library in Las Vegas Tuesday, November 2, 2010. Launch slideshow »

Voting in Henderson

A voter displays her I Voted sticker on her pregnant belly outside of her polling station in Henderson Tuesday, November 2, 2010. Launch slideshow »

Harry Reid on Election Day

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid speaks to volunteers during a stop at his campaign headquarters in Summerlin Tuesday, November 2, 2010. Launch slideshow »

Outside Angle headquarters

A volunteer loads campaign signs into a vehicle at the West Sahara Avenue campaign headquarters of Republican challenger Sharron Angle on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. The signs will be used for the election night party at the Venetian, he said. Launch slideshow »
Click to enlarge photo

Republican Sharron Angle casts her ballot Tuesday morning in Reno.

2010 General Election

Zip Code
Party Affilliation
Democrat — 60.9%
Republican — 19.1%
Independent — 15.2%
Other — 2.3%
Tea Party of Nevada — 0.8%
Green — 0.7%
Libertarian — 0.7%
Independent American Party — 0.3%
Who are you voting for in the U.S. Senate race?
Harry Reid — 70.7%
Sharron Angle — 26.9%
Scott Ashjian — 1.1%
Wil Stand — 0.5%
Tim Fasano — 0.3%
Jesse Holland — 0.3%
Jeffrey C. Reeves — 0.3%
Michael L. Haines — 0%
Who are you voting for in the Nevada gubernatorial race?
Rory Reid — 61.6%
Brian Sandoval — 32.3%
David Scott Curtis — 2.9%
Eugene "Gino" Disimone — 1.1%
Aaron Y. Honig — 0.8%
Floyd Fitzgibbons — 0.7%
Arthur Forest Lampitt Jr. — 0.6%
Who are you voting for in the U.S. House District 3 race?
Dina Titus — 66.2%
Joe Heck — 29.4%
Barry Michaels — 2.1%
Joseph P. Silvestri — 1.9%
Scott David Narter — 0.5%

This poll is closed, see Full Results »

Note: This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Months of campaigning was winding down today as Nevadans went the polls to decide a hotly contested U.S. Senate race, pick a new governor, decide three House races and choose the makeup of a 2011 Legislature.

Election officials said 99,812 voters had cast a ballot in Clark County today through 3 p.m.

Larry Lomax, Clark County registrar of voters, had initially expected about 190,000 people to cast ballots today in Clark County, but said the actual number likely would fall short of his prediction. That number would have matched a 26 percent turnout from the last two Election Days, not including early votes.

"Just based on what I'm seeing out here today, I have a feeling that's going to be high," Lomax said this morning of his prediction.

County and state election officials said there were no major problems with voting today.

"Things are going very well as far as I know. All the polling places opened on time," Lomax said. "Some of the minor little issues that always pop up during elections -- nothing that would have affected the voting."

Secretary of State Ross Miller said there were minor delays at a few polling sites, but the election was "running smooth."

Economy 'going to take time to turn around'

Independent voter Ruben Ramos, 42, cast his vote Tuesday morning at Green Valley Baptist Church in Henderson. He said he voted for Harry Reid because of his track record in helping Nevada.

“He’s been helping, he’s just having a hard time right now,” Ramos said. “He’s been doing all right.”

Ramos, a construction worker who has been through three bouts of unemployment since the recession struck, said despite his personal hardships he felt confident in Nevada’s future.

“I think it’s probably just going to take time to turn around,” he said.

Sharon Danko, who also voted at Green Valley Baptist Church, said she voted for Sharron Angle “because we need a change.” But Danko, a Republican, said she voted for incumbent U.S. Congresswoman Dina Titus, a Democrat.

What influenced her vote, she said, were “the things I’ve heard about what Joe Heck won’t vote for, medical and otherwise.”

Henderson voter Charles Kern said he voted mostly Republican down the ticket, including Angle for Senate.

“We just need to get rid of Harry Reid,” Kern said. Kern said he is concerned about the state’s future.

“I’m absolutely worried about the future of Nevada, especially with how the economy is right now and the way Democrats have been spending,” Kern said.

Differing messages for incumbent

Mary Turner, a registered Democrat who works at UNLV, cast her vote this morning at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church in Henderson. In the major races, she voted for Democrats, saying Harry Reid “has been good for Nevada” and she felt more confident in Rory Reid than she did in Brian Sandoval.

As the recession has walloped Nevada, education funding has taken major hits. Turner, 54, voiced frustration with how Gov. Jim Gibbons, who lost to Sandoval in the primary, has overseen the state’s budget, especially in regard to education. However, blaming one party or the other for the state’s and country’s economic woes would be “oversimplifying,” she said.

“I know it’s really bad right now, but I know we’ll pull out of it,” she said.

Also outside Christ the Servant, Diane and Glenn Chaves both said they voted for Angle in the U.S. Senate race.

Glenn Chaves, 67, said he has voted for Harry Reid in the past. Not this election.

“He has lost touch with his responsibility to the constitution and to Nevada,” he said. “He’s just in a Democratic fog.”

Angle, he said, is a new voice. “I’m just sick and tired of Harry Reid,” he said.

His wife, Diane, echoed his sentiment.

“He is ineffective and self-serving," she said. "This state used to be a big mining state and he hasn’t done anything for mining in years.”

The Chaveses both voted for Sandoval for governor and Heck for the U.S. House District 3 seat.

“Rory Reid is Harry Reid’s son and the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree,” Glenn Chaves said. He added that he felt Dina Titus got “swamped” in the Democratic agenda when she went to Washington and criticized her votes for the stimulus and health care bills.

Social issues bring out votes

Ernie Freggiaro, who voted at Bridge at Paradise Valley assisted living center on Harmon Avenue this morning, is a registered Republican and voted for Angle and Sandoval.

But Freggiaro stopped short of voting for all GOP candidates when he cast his ballot for Titus, his neighbor for 20 years.

"This is the first time I've voted for her," he said. "She has done a great job as congresswoman."

William Snyder, on the other hand, voted a clean sweep for Democrats on his ballot — mainly for social reasons.

Snyder said because he is gay, he voted for candidates most likely to support LGBT issues, especially the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. He said his boyfriend, who was in the military for seven years, could have benefited by being open about his sexuality.

"That's what I'm afraid of — all the advances in 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and the Republicans coming in and screwing that up," said Snyder, who identifies as an independent.

Other voters were more blunt about their views of certain politicians.

"Sharron Angle scares me," said Alexander Brooks. "I don't like the idea of having people I honestly consider to be insane in our government."

Brooks, who works at UNLV, said he fears his job could be in jeopardy if Republicans win elections in Nevada and cut education funding.

Plenty of blame to go around

At Coronado High School, Thomas Bulger was pushing his brother, Richard Bulger, who was in a wheelchair, outside the polling place shortly after 8 a.m.

Both retirees, the two Democrats had each just cast ballots hoping to re-elect Harry Reid to the Senate. The reason?

"What George W. Bush did to this country," Richard Bulger said. "He ruined the country. The one thing I'm afraid of is Angle gets elected."

Thomas Bulger said he agreed with his brother about Bush.

"I hope our grandchildren will be able to afford to get us out of debt," he said.

Click to enlarge photo

Henderson residents stand in line to cast their vote during Election Day at the Paseo Verde Library in Henderson Tuesday, November 2, 2010.

The brothers also said they each voted for Democrats Rory Reid for governor and Dina Titus for Congress.

"I wanted Democrats across the board. I don't understand how any working man could be voting for Republicans after what they've done to the country," Thomas Bulger said.

Thomas Mietzner, a Republican, said he was worried about Nevada's future.

"I'm worried we're not diversified enough with the economy," he said. "It's all about the gaming."

Mietzner, who voted for John McCain for president two years ago, said he voted today for Republicans Sharron Angle, Brian Sandoval and Joe Heck, explaining he's a fiscal conservative. He said the ballooning federal deficit encouraged him to vote for Angle.

"We're spending more money than we have," Mietzner said.

Another Republican, Mark Towk, said he holds Democrats responsible for the recession.

"All the foreclosure stuff started with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd," Towk said after voting at Coronado High School in Henderson. "They allowed it so we started giving people half-million-dollar homes when they couldn't afford homes that were $180,000."

Towk said the economy, the federal debt and "Obamacare" led him to vote for Angle.

"For health care, I have to wait four years and there's the possibility of putting me in jail if I don't buy it. Come on!" Towk said.

Towk, who voted for Sandoval for governor, said Rory Reid was running on his father's name recognition.

'Insane' GOP and 'problem' Democrats

The economy and immigration were on the minds of voters at Manuel Cortez Elementary in the northeast valley.

Dave Melvin, a registered Republican, said he voted a straight Republican ticket because he had seen many friends lose their jobs in recent years.

"Where do I start? I don't like Harry Reid," said Melvin, who added he doesn't hold the Senate majority leader responsible for the recession "like the press does," but believes Reid, Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are "part of the problem."

"(The election) is not about Sharron Angle," he added. "It's about taking (Reid) out of power."

Lola Moss, a fellow registered Republican, took the opposite stance: she said she voted against the Republican candidates because she believes they have no plans for the future.

As an elementary school teacher, Moss said she worries about how public education will be funded and voted for Democrats.

"The truth is the Republican candidates -- they're insane," she said. "I kept waiting for one of them to say something practical and logical. It's terrifying."

'All the choices were bad'

At John Bass Elementary School, 10377 Rancho Destino Road, 50-year-old Blake Grantham said he was disappointed in the candidate choices, but voted Republican like he did in 2008.

“All the choices were bad,” Grantham said, shaking his head. “Even ‘none of the above’ was bad.”

The focus wasn’t just on the races capturing national headlines. Just across the street, two young women held signs for Ken Small, who is running for trusteeship of District F of the Clark County School Board.

Even though they are a year shy of being able to vote, Las Vegas High School students Ashley Perez and Myah Sandoval said they wanted to get out the vote on their day off from school.

“Education isn’t how it used to be,” Perez said, referencing an annual Education Week magazine survey that ranked Nevada last in the nation for the quality of its public schools. “We’re not being taught as much as we’re supposed to be.”

“Every vote is important,” Sandoval added, encouraging young voters to turn out today. “Our generation doesn’t realize that people we elect affect us. We should be more informed and aware.”

Early voting: By the numbers

Click to enlarge photo

Poll worker Ernestine Terrell directs voters to their stations during Election Day at the West Las Vegas Library in Las Vegas Tuesday, November 2, 2010.

In early voting turnout, Republicans outperformed Democrats in getting to the polls in Nevada. Final tallies for two weeks of in-person voting and a preliminary count of mail-in ballots for the state's two most populous counties, Clark and Washoe, gave Democrats about a 9,000-voter edge.

The slim margin stands out because Democrats hold a 60,000-voter edge in statewide registration.

Democrats accounted for 162,801 in-person early voters -- or 43 percent of the total -- just over the party's share of registration. But the GOP turned out 156,264 early voters, or 41 percent of the total -- which is 4 percentage points higher than party's registration in the state.

Democrats held a 21,502-to-19,087 edge in mail-in ballots for the state's two largest counties.

Clark County was 68 percent of the early turnout while Washoe County was 18 percent and rural areas were 14 percent. In Clark County, 22,830 more Democrats have turned out than Republicans.

With Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican hopeful Sharron Angle neck-and-neck in the polls, Nevada has been home to one of the nation’s most-watched races. Nevadans also will decide whether Republican Brian Sandoval or Democrat Rory Reid will lead the state through its toughest economic slump in decades, as well as choose who to send to the U.S. House.

The ballot includes a host of statewide, legislative, local and judicial races.

Polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. About 3,500 people will work at the nearly 300 polling places throughout the Las Vegas Valley.

Anyone who has not turned in a mail ballot will have until 7 p.m. tonight to turn it into the Election Department Office at the Clark County Government Center, 5000 S. Grand Central Parkway, Las Vegas, or the Clark County Election Center, 965 Trade Drive, Suite A, North Las Vegas.

Visit tonight for updated election returns and coverage of the races.

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  1. dennis... dipstick... you got the song right.

    Jonathan Edwards, "Sunshine"...
    "You can't even run your OWN life; I'll be DAMNED if you'll run MINE!" is so totally APT for a response to the Tea-Set.

    "Sunshine come on back another day
    I promise you I'll be singing
    This old world, she's gonna turn around
    Brand new bells'll be ringing"...

    When the Tea Party is shuttered, and Sarah Palin shuts her screeching, gaping maw, and Sharron Angle get's back on her spaceship, and Christine O'donnell goes back to Junior High,
    and Rand Paul goes back to Anger-Management classes, harmony will be restored in the Universe!

  2. Everyone: Enjoy the day and some verse by a dead poet.

    SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
    Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
    Conspiring with him how to load and bless
    With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
    To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
    And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
    To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
    With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
    And still more, later flowers for the bees,
    Until they think warm days will never cease;
    For Summer has o'erbrimm'd their clammy cells.

    Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
    Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
    Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
    Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
    Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
    Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
    Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
    And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
    Steady thy laden head across a brook;
    Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
    Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

    Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
    Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,--
    While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day
    And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
    Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
    Among the river-sallows, borne aloft
    Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
    And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;

    Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
    The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
    And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

  3. aBadReid: "Still blame Bush for everything?".
    You mean the stock market crash of 2008 doesn't exist now? Where were you?

    Typical Republican response - pretend the past didn't happen or rewrite history like the Evangelicals try to do every day.

    The Iraq war was a WAR AGAINST THE US GOVERNMENT, not terror, because there were no terrorists in Iraq. It was an opportunity to destroy the economy just like bin Laden wanted to do and then try to grab the Retirement Income of America and give it to Wall Street. Bin Laden couldn't have had a better business partner than George W. Bush.

    On Retirement Savings, the Government Employees or Retired Military will NEVER PRIVATIZE their retirements - they want the Government to guarantee their checks. It's only the working people that must give their retirement checks to Wall Street!

    Bush hasn't left yet - John Roberts and Sam Alito are here to bring RICH MAN'S LAW to the land and stomp out equality.

    China doesn't entrust the fate of their country to a few greedy people. That's why, in 20 years, China will walk all over this country because they will have the education, the transportation, the money and the technology to do so and America will be teaching it's young how Dinosaurs rode on Noah's Arc.

  4. I wish the posters would stop bashing Sarah Palin, she will make an excellent Republican nominee for 2012. Mitt Romney will not win early Republican Primaries, like South Carolina, because the same bigots that don't like Islamics, don't like LDS either. Mitch Daniels and Palenti are too boring. Huckleberry doesn't play well in New Hampshire. So you are left with Palin. A Palin-Angle ticket will be great!

  5. Judging by the comments here - no wonder Nevada is as F'd up as it is.

    Palin-Angle ticket...... You gotta be kidding me!!!! And WHO would vote for those two??? McCain couldn't win with Palin on his ticket and by 2012 the rest of the country will know what a nutcase Angle is(IF she wins). The country will have a good laugh at Nevada expense if Angle wins this election. Of course, there are a good many nutcases running in other States, too, but it will all balance out since most States actually have decent politicians running things and are not representing States with the highest unemployment and foreclosure figures. So someone is doing something right. Can't say that for Nevada's politicians.

    BTW - where has John Ensign been?

  6. "A Palin-Angle ticket will be great!"

    For Dems!

    That said, low turnout is generally bad for Democrats this election cycle. Republicans have whipped their base up into an fearsome anger. It doesn't take them much motivation to get out and vote against Dems in the same way it didn't take much effort to get Dems to get out and vote against Republicans in 2006.

    Democrats are much more hit-and-miss this time around. If the turnout is high, that means their GOTV efforts are working. If the turnout is low, their GOTV efforts have failed.

  7. The Republican establishment is conspiring against Sarah Palin...time to vote Tea Party...why vote for an establishment candidate like Angle (a 20 year politician backed by rhino John McCain)

    Time to vote for Ashijian or none of these candidates ...

  8. I had an enjoyable time voting today.

    Only one glitch happened. And it happened to me during the primaries too.

    They looked up my name. Then they looked it up more. Then they flipped pages. Looked again.

    After about three minutes, I leaned over and advised them to look under the other name...that "Colin" is not my last name...use the other one.

    I couldn't believe it. Happened TWICE! Last time and now this time.

    I guess it's my fault for having two confusing names.

    Anyways, I voted straight up and down Democratic.

    Happy Election Day!

  9. Vote Whig in 2012:

  10. Just finished voting. All the machines were busy, but there were only a handful in line and things were going pretty smooth.

    I didn't see any problems or have any.

    In other words, everything was just as it should be. :)

  11. I think *many* of us could accept a large part of what the Whigs are saying.

    The current level of polarization has to end. I would suspect that most Americans are still in the middle, but can't find a party that wants to go there. Well, the Whigs do.

    I intend to become active in party politics again in the near future, and it will be as a Whig. I have not been with any party since I left the Republicans (or rather, they left me) in the mid 80s.

    Anyone who would like to discuss this further is welcome to use the Sun email facility to get in touch with me.

  12. Bush couldn't get privatized Social Security even though he had the House, nor immigration reform, even though he had bi-partisan support. What went through? The Iraq War that will cost a trillion and the Prescription Drug Bill that will cost a trillion. And where were all the bellicose teabags yakking about spending then?

    And the Democrats didn't get the public option, even though they controled the White House and Congress.

    So this tea-crack pot or crack pipe notion that spending is going to stop is bogus. They won't touch defense, Medicare or Social Security. Nor the Farm Bill, the Highway Bill or the Defense Bill.

    Grow-up teapots! The handful of crackpots will not get anything done. The Republicans are getting ready to cook Palin's goose for Xmas.

  13. With any luck we can start with a clean slate, and change it too if it doesn't work right!

  14. I don't very much that the religious right would want the Whigs, but the fiscal conservatives of the TEA Party might well accept the Whig message.

    Even more, moderate Democrats who are leery of how far to the left their party is leaning can find a lot to like in that message, too.

    As I said, I think most people are close to the middle and want to see a party that will say the same.

  15. YAYYYYYYYY!!!!!!

    The political ads are gone!

  16. There is no doubt that the Republicans will have control of the House. This is good.

    Once again we will have balance in D.C. and they *must* learn to compromise if they wish to do anything at all. It is unlikely that the Republicans will take the Senate, but even if Reid retains his seat, we can hope that the Democrats will put someone else in as Majority Leader. There is no doubt, it is unmistakable, that the American public is sick and tired of Reid.

    Maybe now Obama will get the message that we are NOT Europe, that we want to succeed or fail on our own efforts, not with government handouts.