With only 3 days to go, all the talk is now about early voting. Last night my Twitter feed was jammed with photos of long lines in Nevada and gleeful reports of Latinos turning out in droves. Here is fellow CSULB journalism major Cathleen Decker in the LA Times this morning:
The early vote is an imperfect measure of results, but two points seem clear.
The first is that an election whose negativity seemed destined to drive away more voters than it attracted has so far done the reverse, prompting a record deluge of early voting in many of the states that will decide the presidency….The second is that Trump has been helpful to Clinton’s efforts to increase voting among women and Latinos.
….In Nevada, a giant get-out-the-vote operation by Culinary Union Local 226, which represents casino workers, has contributed to a dominant showing for Clinton in early voting. Half of the local’s 32,500 registered voters have cast votes. Shuttles cart workers to and from voting sites. Nine hours a day, 300 volunteers knock on doors and others call voters from the union hall. The operation, which began with citizenship and voter registration drives, is aimed at union workers, their relatives and the public.
The big question, of course, is whether this demonstrates lots of enthusiasm for Clinton, or if these are voters who would have voted anyway and are just doing it early. Philip Bump of the Washington Post suggests it’s a real thing: “The numbers in Clark County overall, both last night and over the course of Nevada’s two weeks of early voting, suggest a big surge in voters over 2012 — and an electorate that likely favors Clinton.”
— Tim Hogan (@timjhogan) November 5, 2016
Time will tell. For what it’s worth, though, the guru of Nevada voting, Jon Ralston, says it’s all over but the tallying:
— Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports) November 5, 2016
I’m not surprised. It’s not just that Trump has spent the last year humiliating Latinos, and now they’re making him pay the price for that. It’s also that this is Nevada. Home of Las Vegas. If there’s any state where they recognize con men and hustlers on sight, this is it.