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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.

Photo: VotePatHickey.com

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