Wait. Biden? Joe Biden is why Nevada is an early state?

no, tho, seriously?
Joe Biden campaigning in Southern Nevada in July. (Photo: Jeniffer Solis).
no, tho, seriously?
Joe Biden campaigning in Southern Nevada in July. (Photo: Jeniffer Solis).

Two polls, same result. Joe Biden still leads in Nevada.

An Emerson College poll of 1,089 registered Nevada voters between Oct. 29 and Nov. 2 has Biden at 30 percent, followed by Elizabeth Warren at 22 percent and Bernie Sanders at 19 percent.

A Mellman Group poll of 600 potential caucus goers conducted for the Nevada Independent between Oct. 28 and Nov. 2 has Biden at 29 percent, and Warren and Sanders both at 19.

As someone wrote in May

Ever since the 2008 presidential cycle, when Harry Reid got Nevada the third spot after Iowa and New Hampshire in order to build the state party and help salvage what then looked like his super-duper-doomed career, Nevadans have been promised an out-sized influence in picking the Democratic nominee.

Nevada’s purported impact is usually couched in terms of making candidates confront Nevada and, to a lesser degree, Western issues (every Nevada journalist who has never asked a presidential candidate about Yucca Mountain, raise your hand; seeing no hands, let’s move on…), and forcing candidates to address concerns that union members and people of color in Nevada might have that the snowbound farmers of Iowa and New Hampshire might not.

What Democrats typically have not been promised, by Democratic Party stalwarts, caucus boosters, the press, or anyone else, is Nevada deserves an early say in the presidential selection process to help assure the nominee is “safe” — in other words, white, moderate, and male.

The RCP poll average shows Biden still leads in South Carolina, but trails Warren in Iowa, New Hampshire, and California.

Nevada’s role in the nomination fight, presuming Nevada has one, may be propping up Joe Biden, lest he look so tattered after Iowa and New Hampshire that he loses South Carolina too.

Are Iowa Democrats more progressive than Nevada Democrats? Or are Nevada Democrats just more pragmatic, more savvy, more sophisticated about the real world than Iowans. There is certainly that tendency in Nevada, to assume we’ve a no-flies-on-us sharpness that won’t let wild-eyed idealism interfere with hard, cold calculation. That’s how the NFL ripped us off for the biggest public subsidy in the history of… er …

Okay, bad example.

Let’s hope the First in the West caucus isn’t another one.

Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson has been writing about Nevada policy and politics for more than 20 years. He was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and wrote the then-groundbreaking Las Vegas Gleaner, which among other things was the only independent political blog from Nevada that was credentialed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He spent a few years as a senior energy and environmental policy analyst for Public Citizen, and has occasionally worked as a consultant on mining, taxation, education and other issues for Nevada labor and public interest organizations. His freelance work has been published in outlets ranging from the Guardian to Desert Companion to In These Times to the Oil & Gas Journal. For several years he also taught U.S. History courses at UNLV. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and then assistant managing editor at the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming’s largest newspaper.