Washoe County: The Key to Nevada

Is Washoe County the key that flips the Silver State Blue?

Arithmos Analytics

1/7/2022 1 min read

Washoe County: The Key to Nevada

Washoe County is the cradle of Reno, the famous “Biggest Little City in the World”. Slightly smaller than its more famous cousin Las Vegas, it still very much embodies the Nevada reputation for casinos and entertainment. But as well as being a key center for the entertainment industry, it is also a vital place to win if a party wishes to win a Nevada electoral race.

In 2008, the Democrats flipped Washoe County, and this saw the Democrats carry Nevada at Presidential level for only the third time in 40 years. The Democrats have carried Washoe County in every Presidential Election since, and with it, have carried the whole state of Nevada in every Presidential Election since. Clearly taking Washoe County was key to tilting the Silver State Blue.

In 2004, 2010 and 2018 the Democrats carried Washoe County at US Senate race level, and on each occasion won the US Senate seat. By contrast, they failed to carry Washoe in 2000, 2006, 2012 and 2016 and ominously, won the Senate race in just one of those four races. Put simply, on the three occasions when Democrats carried Washoe, they won all the US Senate races, but lost three out of four US Senate races when they did not.

Finally, is the Governor level. The Republicans won every Governor’s race in the 21st century until 2018. The Republicans carried Washoe County in the 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 races, and with it, won the Governor’s race. But in 2018, the Democrats flipped Washoe at the Governor’s level for the first time this century at Governor Election level, and perhaps not coincidentally, also won the Governor’s race as a whole for the first time this century.

Put simply, Washoe County appears to be the key to Nevada at electoral level. With elections in Nevada at Senate and Governor level in 2022, both parties will no doubt take note.

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