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Sunday, October 23, 2016

LISTEN: Nevada Republican Admits GOP Can Only Win If Fewer People Vote

Pat Hickey NevadaIt’s sad, when you think about it. A once-great political party is now so unpopular that it’s reduced to hoping people don’t turn out to vote.

Acknowledging that young people and students—two traditionally Democratic demographics coincidentally being targeted by Republican state legislators suddenly anxious to ram through new Voter ID laws—tend to stay home in off-year elections, Nevada Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey (R-Reno) is ever so psyched about the Nevada GOP’s chances in 2014.

“This is a great year in an off-presidential election,” he chirped excitedly in an interview with conservative talk show host Dan Mason. “No… seemingly no Democrat on the top of the ticket against [Nevada governor Brian] Sandoval. No Harry Reid. Probably where we had a million voters turn out in 2012 we’ll have like 700,000.”

Woo-hoo! Low voter turnout! This is what democracy looks like! “A lot of minorities, a lot of younger people will not turn out in a non-presidential year,” enthused Hickey. “It’s a great year for Republicans.”

Not that it’s the best-kept secret in politics, but hearing such desperation nakedly expressed as an encouraging sign truly brings home the sad state of affairs in today’s Republican Party. It won’t be long before they’re kidnapping anyone who looks like a Democrat and dragging them away from the polls in an effort to keep them from voting — because it’s becoming increasingly clear to everyone that when more people vote, more Democrats get elected.

Listen below, courtesy of ThinkProgress.


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  • John Pigg

    A bit overblown? Everyone knows the Republican Party is far more unified and less fractious than its Democratic counterpart. The Democrats have a broad coalition and a majority of the country identifies as Democrat. Problem is that Democratic voters don’t always show up for elections, Republicans do.

    I don’t think this Nevada politician was saying it would be great if we didn’t have elections. He is making the point that he expects turnout to be low, and when turnout is low Republicans have the advantage.

    Its probably more beneficial to focus on what you can do to increase turnout and compete in next year elections than grip and complain about how Republicans are awful. But its easier to do the latter than the former.

    • Sand_Cat

      When the one party is actively trying to decrease turnout, it’s a bit more than empty griping and complaining. You’re right that Democrats need to try to increase turnout. And an important part of that is pointing out just how awful the Republicans are, and how much damage they will do if you let them get elected by default.

      • John Pigg

        He isn’t advocating voter suppression. He is only making the point that Democrats have trouble getting their people to vote in non-presidential elections.

        Nothing he was saying was awful, it was true. If the Democrats do not get their people to the polls and do not think of narratives to put the House in play then they stand to risk their legislative majority.

        And thats not good for anybody.

        • Sand_Cat

          See my reply to disqus_ivSI3ByGmh above.
          No need to argue about it.

          • John Pigg

            Thanks for the reply. I’ll consider the topic closed. Onto the next.

      • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

        I agree with John. This guy is not promoting suppression. Just stating the fact that if there is not a major burning issue, Democrats will normally stay home during the “off year” elections.
        One way our town encourages more people to vote is by putting ballot measures out. I expect a lower than normal turnout this year, though, as the town board of directors scrapped putting the school improvement program on November’s ballot. That means there are three School Board and four Board of Directors seats being voted on. So unless there is another funding issue or a town charter amendment that we haven’t heard about there will probably be only 1/4 to 1/3 of the folks who voted last year. I expect to spend a chunk of October on the phones and walking door-to-door in our neighborhood reminding people to vote and asking if I can put a sign on their lawn.

        • Sand_Cat

          I’m not really disagreeing all that much with John, either. Whether this guy is actively promoting suppression (do we know enough about him to say?), his party certainly is, and that and a ton of other issues are good arguments to be used to turn out the vote. Unfortunately reasoning with people isn’t likely to get lots of them out to vote, which is probably a good reason why today’s Democrats have so much difficulty hanging on to support, along with the unfortunate tendency a lot of them have to go along with, or actually participate in, the GOP wrongdoing when they think no one’s looking.
          I don’t like scare mongerers in general, but I think the plain unvarnished truth about the evil today’s GOP seems determined to drive us all to is a better lure than a reasoned defense of Dem policies. That’s just the way things seem to be.

    • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

      Sad but true, John. Republicans are always more organized when it comes to voting. Even in a blue state like CT. Yes, we have all Democrats in our congressional delegation, and yes, the majority of both our state legislatures chambers are Democrats. We joke about fitting all the Republicans in the state in a High School auditorium, but they do show up to vote. What is somewhat ironic is both places where I have lived tend to bounce back and forth between Democratic and Republican control. Why? Because even us diehard Democrats will vote for a Republican candidate if we foresee the Democrat about to take part of the normal retirement program for Connecticut Politicians (generally a 5 year sentence in a federal correction institute).