In 1900, 1904, and 1908, Nevada's electoral votes went to Democrat William Jennings Bryan who lost all three elections, first to McKinley, then Teddy Roosevelt, and finally William Howard Taft. Nevada hasn't missed since but once.
Since 1912, when Woodrow Wilson was elected, no president, Democrat or Republican, has won the presidency without carrying Nevada except Jimmy Carter in 1976. That's an even better track record over that time than Ohio (Dewey over FDR in 1940 and Nixon over Kennedy in 1960).
[Note: Nevada went for Bush in 2000 - I won't get into an argument about how the Republican's stole the 2000 election, which they did, even though they did end up winning the popular vote, Bush 5 (55.5%) - Gore 4 (44.4%), voters and electoral college be damned.]
So, how does that translate to today?
NBC News is reporting that Obama is leading Romney in Nevada among Latino voters, 78% to 17% (O+61) based on a poll by Latino Decisions. In 2008, Obama won among Nevada Latinos by 54. Latino voters are expected to be 15-20% of all voters in Nevada this election.
Polls before last week's debate look favorable for an Obama reelection.
Gravis 10/3 48.9-47.8 O+1.1%
We Ask America 9/27 52.5-42 O+10.5%
NBC/Marist 9/25 49-47 O+2%
ARG 9/23 51-44 O+7%
PPP 9/20 52-43 O+9%
According to Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com, that represents an 80% chance of Obama winning Nevada. Problem is, we just don't have any post debate polls. I'm sure we can depend on Rasmussen to release some made up figures soon. Hopefully, we'll get some solid data in the coming days.
Barack has done himself no favors with his rotten debate performance last week and the national polls are all over the place. Gallup, Obama 50-45, looks favorable and a brand new Pew Research poll showing Rmoney with a 49-45 lead appears misleading. The folks at Pew placed an R+3 electorate advantage in their poll. Goldwater could've won if that were so. It's really impossible to translate these polls into state predictions. Still, Romney has never led in a Nevada poll.
Better news is that the Democrats now hold an 80,000+ Nevada voter registration advantage over Republicans thanks to a massive voter registration campaign. Needless-to-say, a large Latino turnout would turn The Silver State our way no matter what the polls say.
Moral of the story: GOTV people!!!
6:53 PM PT: UPDATE: I have updated my diary to make an exception for the Carter/Ford election that I overlooked. Thanks seanflynn!