Washington Post op-ed warns Latino voters switching to GOP is ‘huge problem’ for Nevada Dems


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Washington Post columnist Henry Olsen gave a dire warning to Democrats that Latino voters in Vegas are leaving the Democratic Party. 

“It’s usually a bad idea to bet against the house, and Clark County Democrats are Nevada’s political house,” Olsen explained in a July 27 op-ed. “But Lady Luck has a wandering eye. If Latinos move rightward enough, the GOP stands ready to count its winnings and break the Democrats’ bank.”

He illustrated that Latino Americans in Clark County, Nevada have been burned by Democrat policies amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“There’s also reason to think that a voter backlash over the economy will be stronger in Clark County than elsewhere, hurting Democrats with working-class Latinos. The Las Vegas economy heavily depends on tourism because of its world-famous casinos. They were hammered during the pandemic due to closures, capacity limitations and reduced airline travel,” he wrote.

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‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas’ sign 
(Fox News Digital/Teny Sahakian)

However, Olsen specified that such disillusion with Democrats is part of a nationwide phenomenon, where Latinos are moving away from the Democrat Party.

“National polls suggest that Latinos are moving sharply away from the Democratic Party. If that plays out in the midterms, it’s likely no place will be impacted more than here in Nevada’s fastest-growing metropolitan area. And that could wipe out much of the advantage Democrats have built in this blue-trending state,” he wrote. “National polls suggest Democratic support with Latinos is plummeting. President Biden’s job approval ratings with Hispanics are low, with the most recent Politico/Morning Consult poll finding only 47 percent approve of his performance.”

A general view of a casino sign outside the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino on Fremont Street July 19, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

A general view of a casino sign outside the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino on Fremont Street July 19, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(2011 Getty Images)

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Signs are pointing towards Latinos switching political sides in favor of Republicans, but Olson cited a political science assistant professor, who said as Latinos makeup a larger share of the electorate that it will help Democrats. 

“Kenneth Miller, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, told me that the rising share of Latinos in the electorate works to the Democrats’ advantage. He says increases in the share of the total vote for this Democratic-tilting demographic likely outweighs any shift within it toward the GOP,” Olsen wrote. 

Kenneth Miller, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, was skeptical of the Latino vote moving significantly to the GOP in the state. 

Kenneth Miller, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, was skeptical of the Latino vote moving significantly to the GOP in the state. 
(iStock)

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Even so, Olsen explained that the fact some electoral races may be surprisingly close indicates a political shift is on the horizon:

“Nevertheless, both rate the statewide races as tossups and concede that all three of the area’s Democratic members of Congress face tough races,” he noted. “I’ll profile each of these races in a separate column, but the fact that local and national observers think they are up for grabs suggests real trouble ahead.”



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