Nevada Election 2012 LIVE: Nevada Reelects Obama and Sen. Heller

With the election fast approaching, President Obama seems to be ahead of his Republican challenger Mitt Romney in Nevada, but his lead in recent polls is still within the margin of error and dependent upon the turnout of minority voters.

In the latest Real Clear Politics poll averages, Nevadans appear to prefer the president to Romney by a nearly 3 point margin, with Obama polling 50.2% compared to Romney’s 47.4%. This has caused several projection sources to move Nevada from a “toss up” state to a “leans Obama” state, though Obama’s lead is still within the margin of error in all major polls in the state.  

In 2008, Nevadans helped elect Obama, selecting the president by a 12.5 point margin over Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). The 2004 election turned the Silver State red, with Nevadans supporting former President Bush by a 2.6 point margin.

Nevadans have been at the center of the heated presidential campaign. While ranking 35th in the country in population size, Nevada is currently eighth in outside spending,  with Republicans and Democrats funneling money into the state to try to secure the state’s six electoral college votes.  According to the Sunlight Foundation, the Las Vegas TV market ranks third in the nation for political ad buying this election, behind only Orlando, Fla., and Norfolk, Va.

Romney’s greatest challenge in Nevada will be the Hispanic vote. Twenty-seven percent of Nevadans are Hispanic, a demographic group which the president is currently polling strongly with nationwide. According to an October poll by Latino Decisions in Nevada, Nevada’s Latino voters favor the president by 78% compared to 17% in favor of Romney.

Will Nevada's Hispanic voters carry the president to victory on Tuesday, or will low voter turnout amongst minorities deliver the Silver State to Romney?

PolicyMic will be covering the Nevada 2012 presidential election results live. For live updates and analysis, bookmark and refresh this page.

UPDATE 6:00am: With 100% of precincts now reporting, the final numbers:

President: 52.3% Obama, 45.7% Romney U.S. Senate: 45.9% Heller, 44.7% Berkley U.S. Representative District 1: 63.5% Titus, 31.6% Edwards U.S. Representative District 2: 57.7% Amodei, 36.21% Koepnick State Question 1: 54% Yes, 46% No Results of statewide Jucial, State Senate, State Assembly and county initiatives can be seen here.

UPDATE 11:15pm: PolicyMic is going to take a pause in live coverage. Final results will be posted on this page. In the meantime, you can visit the Nevada General Election Results page for more election updates.

UPDATE 11:10pm: With 69% of precincts reporting, it looks like the U.S. Senate seat will go to Dean Heller (R) with 45.7% of the vote compared to Shelley Berkley's 44.89%. Still close though. To see the result after 100% of votes are counted, click here.

UPDATE 11:04pm: Obama joined by Biden and their families on stage. The popular vote is Obama's as well.

UPDATE 10:56pm: POTUS: "I have never been more hopeful about our future."

UPDATE 10:55pm:

UPDATE 10:49pm: Obama brings up global warming, peace, and immigration in his victory speech. POTUS: "That's where we need to go...forward."

UPDATE 10:44pm: Obama thanks all of the volunteers who lifted him up during his campaign.

UPDATE 10:41pm: Obama applauds the Romney family's public service record and vows to sit down with Romney to discuss the future of the country.

UPDATE 10:40pm:

UPDATE 10:37pm: The Obamas take the stage to Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered."

UPDATE 10:28pm: U.S. Representative seats in NV as expected: District 1 overwhelmingly elects Titus, District 2 elects Amodei.

UPDATE 10:17pm: 

UPDATE 10:14pm: Heller just barely ahead of Berkley in NV Senate race with 43% of precincts now reporting.

UPDATE 10:00pm: Romney says he and Ann are ready to pray for the country. 5 minute speech, short and genuinely delivered.

UPDATE 9:57pm: Romney calls Ryan "the best choice I ever made"--besides marrying Ann of course.

UPDATE 9:52pm: Heller moves ahead of Berkley in NV U.S. Senate race with 42% reporting.

UPDATE 9:52pm: Romney to deliver concession speech.

UPDATE 9:41pm: Virginia called for the president. 303 Electoral votes for Obama, 203 for Romney according to CNN.

UPDATE 9:40pm: The California Department of State is providing special coverage of close contests in U.S. House of Representative and State Assembly races.

UPDATE 9:39pm: Obama ahead in the popular vote even before most of California's votes have been counted.

UPDATE 9:33pm: 24% of precincts reporting and the U.S. Senate race in NV is still too close to call.

UPDATE 9:14pm: Close race between candidates for U.S. Senate with 13% of precints reporting:

Berkley (D): 46.1% Heller (R): 45.56% Vanderbeek (I): 4.29%

UPDATE 9:11pm:

UPDATE 9:08pm: CNN joins NPR in calling NV for Obama.

UPDATE 9:03pm: Only 11% of precints reporting, but this is where the Silver State currently stands in the presidential race:

Obama (D): 53.12% Romney (R): 45.29% Johnson (L): 0.89% Goode (I): 0.27% No vote: 0.5%

UPDATE 8:58pm: NPR's Alan Greenblatt shares that Obama will likely be "just the third president in U.S. history to have been reelected with a smaller share of the vote than when he was first elected. The other two were Franklin D. Roosevelt and Andrew Jackson."

UPDATE 8:52pm: Not calling these yet, but Obama is currently leading in Virginia, Florida, Colorado, and Nevada.

UPDATE 8:50pm: Only 2% of precincts reporting in Nevada as of yet, so NPR projection may be early.

UPDATE 8:45pm: NPR has projected Nevada for Obama, another major loss for the Romney campaign tonight.

UPDATE 8:38pm: From the Editor-in-Chief of Glamour Magazine:

UPDATE 8:31pm: 6 out of 10 in Nevada call the economy the most important issue of the election, and nearly 75% say the economy is "poor" or "not so good," according to the exit polls conducted today.

UPDATE 8:20pm: America is changing demographically and that bodes well for Democrats. Republicans will need to appeal to young people, women, and minorities in the future.

UPDATE 8:15pm: CBS calls the election for Obama after projecting Ohio for Obama.

UPDATE 8:12pm: CBS calls Iowa and Oregon for Obama. Obama has 256 Electoral College votes to Romney's 203.

UPDATE 8:05pm: Swing state North Carolina called by NBC for Romney--not a big loss for Obama if he can maintain his slight leads in other battleground states.

UPDATE 8:01pm: The polls have just closed in California and NBC is already calling a win for Obama in California. No surprise there. California joins Washington and Hawaii as Western blue states.

UPDATE 7:23pm: Obama maintaining slight lead in Ohio and Florida.

UPDATE 7:19pm: Results coming in tonight suggest Republicans may have made a bad demographic bet, losing with young people and growing populations like minorities. Will a Republican president be able to win in future years if the Republican Party does not win over these two groups?

UPDATE 7:16pm: CNN says it's now mathematically impossible for the Republicans to control the Senate.

UPDATE 7:14pm: Polls are closed here in Nevada, but official result announcements won't be called until all polls are confirmed closed.

UPDATE 7:13pm: Is this what we see happening tonight?

UPDATE 7:05pm: Obama is currently leading Florida and Ohio, but those contests are still too close to call.

UPDATE 7:01pm: CNN's exit polls predict an Obama win in NV, but real votes not yet reported.

UPDATE 7:00pm: Polls closing now in Nevada. We are following the polls closely reporting from Clark County.

UPDATE 6:51pm: NH will go to Obama, according to NBC.

UPDATE 6:50pm: In the closely watched senate race in Massachussetts, Elizabeth Warren will be the next senator over Scott Brown, according to NBC projections.

UPDATE 6:45pm: 15 minutes until polls close here in NV. We'll have the very latest election results following the close of polls. 

UPDATE 6:37pm: Nate Silver, statistician for The New York Times is feeling confident.

UPDATE 6:30pm: NBC has called Wisconsin for Obama, a "lean Obama" state. 

UPDATE 6:15pm: NBC has called "swing state" Pennsylvania for Obama, making their current Electoral College count for Romney 153 compared to to 128 for Obama. Still waiting on other major swing states, though Ohio and Wisconsin are currently leaning Obama (not enough information is available to make a projection about these states).

UPDATE 6:00pm: One hour left to vote in Nevada!

UPDATE 6:00pm: The Washington Post is predicting another Republican House. 

UPDATE 5:28pm: The important coverage coming in from The Onion.

UPDATE 5:18pm: Just under 2 hours until polls close here in NV. East Coast swing states like Florida won't be called for a while, but some news sources are already suggesting swing state wins for Obama.

UPDATE 5:10pm: Will Nate Silver's predictions about the election prove true? He called an easy win for Obama based upon the Electoral College votes.

UPDATE 5:04pm: Current Electoral College Count from NPR: 65 for Obama, 71 for Romney.

UPDATE 4:52pm: At 8pm ET (in 8 minutes), polls will close in many East Coast states, with 172 additional electoral votes at stake. Refresh this page for updates and projections.

UPDATE 4:45pm: Early voter turnout results are available for Nevada, with just over 2 hours until the close of polls. Roughly 700,000 people voted early in Nevada. Just over 180,000 votes were cast in person as of 3:30pm.

UPDATE 4:39pm: Early results are in line with recent polling data.

UPDATE 4:33pm: Nate Silver of the New York Times is still predicting a 91% chance of an Electoral College win for the president.

UPDATE 4:08pm: CNN has begun issuing projections.

UPDATE 4:07pm: Early polling information is beginning to trickle in. Jon Cohen, the Washington Post’s official pollster, had this to share with the WonkBlog:

EARLY numbers WILL change but some emerging themes/detail… (all reportable — specifying early, preliminary, etc.)

all the data we have so far matches the expectations set in pre-election polling, so hang on for potentially late night/early morning …

- so far the electorate is shaping up to be broadly similar demographically to 2008 (on race, age, etc.), but, as expected, appear to be a shade more Republican

- tons of lock-in, around seven in 10 say they made up their minds before September

- no surprise, but economy is overwhelming top issue, none of the other three come close — true in national data and across all nine states we subscribed to.

- voters are flipped from 2008 in their interest in a more active federal government. But the limited government sentiment may end up dampened from 2010

- voters nationally split on what to do about “Obamacare,” with slightly more saying get rid of some or all of it.

- indicators of the overall mood of the country are tilted in a far more positive direction that was the case four years ago, with more now saying things are going in “the right direction” and fewer now say the economy is deteriorating. As expected, the improvements are among Democrats.

- The union vote may be headed to a record low, later waves of course, will give a better tally.

UPDATE 3:54pm: These were the latest Nevada polls recorded by Real Clear Politics leading up to today. Obama's lead is still within the margin of error for three out of five polls.

UPDATE 3:41pm: Early exit polls suggest about half of voters blame President George W. Bush more than President Obama for the state of the economy.  This could be good for the president.

UPDATE 3:34pm: If Nevadans vote primarily on the economy today, it won't look good for the president.

Here is what the unemployment rate looks like in Nevada compared to the rest of the country, courtesy of Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight:

UPDATE 2:38pm: If you can't wait for exit poll data, don't worry, I will have you covered. Keep in mind that anything you hear before 5pm EDT is likely to be hearsay.

From the Washington Post WonkBlog:

"The first rule of exit polls is this: Before 5 p.m., there are no exit polls.That’s when the “quarantine” lifts on the exit poll data, collected by interviewers stationed at polling places across the country, that major television networks use to project outcomes.

“Given the precautions we take, the chances are infinitesimal that you’ll see correct information before 5 p.m.,” says Larry Rosen, president of Edison Research, which runs the exit poll that the major networks and newspapers use (The Washington Post is among the newspapers that has paid for access). 

It’s not like the floodgates open at 5 p.m., either: Networks are prohibited from releasing information that could be used to project the race until after polls have closed. It won’t be until 7 p.m. that projections get the green light on the East Coast."

Update 3:05pm: The first polls have now closed. I'll be giving you general updates about what is happening nationwide while we focus in on Nevada.

UPDATE 2:25pm: What's the big deal about Clark County, Nevada? Not only did it account for 67% of the vote in 2008, but it has one of the fastest growing populations with a large portion of the increase coming from minority groups. New York Times blogger Nate Silver says that's going to matter.

UPDATE 2:01pm: Curious about what is happening in Clark County, the most populous county in Nevada? The early voting numbers tell some of the story. Check back later this evening as exit polls and early ballot counts come in.

From ABC News:

2012: Clark County, total early ballots cast: 484,363

Dem -- 47%

Rep -- 33%

Other -- 19%

2008: Clark County, total early ballots cast: 561,776

Dem -- 52.0%

Rep -- 30.6%

Other -- 17.4%

UPDATE 1:35pm: Have you seen Romney's "600-member volunteer army" in Nevada today?

From the New York Times: 

"With the advantage apparently for President Obama in early voting, Mitt Romney’s campaign had imported a 600-member volunteer army from nearby states. The group gathered Monday morning at the Las Vegas offices of Brady Industries, a facility supply distributor.

The volunteers were dispatched in 40 vans to Las Vegas-area neighborhoods, where they planned to walk door to door, guiding by walking lists of conservative voters. After sundown they planned to return to Brady Industries, where the company had donated space for a large phone bank."

UPDATE 12:39pm: From The Economist, we can see clearly how the Republican Party and Democratic Party sought out the Nevada vote. Romney/Ryan visited Nevada seven times compared to Obama/Biden visiting only six times. The Republican Party has spent $2 million more in the state. Will it make a difference?

UPDATE 12:33pm: Big Bird has been spotted voting today...

UPDATE 11:23am: And the first general election/Electoral College prediction has been announced!

"With six or more hours remaining before most polling locations close, The Onion is officially calling Florida, Ohio, Colorado, and Pennsylvania for John Edwards, giving the former North Carolina senator 76 electoral votes and virtually assuring his election to the presidency.

Edwards, who exit polls reveal has the support of nearly the entire U.S. populace, and who immediately won California, New York, and Texas the moment the polls opened, has already amassed 70 million votes and accumulated a virtually insurmountable lead in the electoral college."

UPDATE 11:09am: This is what the election map looked like in 2008 in NV. Obama won the popular vote in the state with 55.1% of the vote compared to McCain's 42.7% (courtesy of New York Times).

UPDATE 10:57am: The latest polls show Republican Dean Heller well in front of Democrat Shelley Berkley in the NV Senate race.

UPDATE 10:41am: "With close to three-quarters of the Latino electorate indicating that they trust President Obama and the Democrats to make the right decisions to improve our economic conditions the message is clear--Latinos have said adiós to Romney." Do you agree? Will the Latino vote make all the difference in Nevada today?

UPDATE 10:37am: Did you know there are 90,000 more active registered Democrats than Republicans in Nevada this year? Probably has something to do with the "leans Obama" predictions.

UPDATE 10:33am: What's trending right now in America?

UPDATE 10:24am: If you still aren't sure where do vote, check out this guide from PolicyMic answering your Election Day questions.

UPDATE 10:11am: Polls have been open since 7am and close at 7pm (Pacific time). Be sure to go out and vote!

UPDATE Nov. 5 at 2:23pm: Obama is ahead in early voting in Nevada.

From Fox News: "Roughly 48,000 more Democrats than Republicans went to the polls during the state's two-week, early-voting period. And more than 700,000 votes were cast. Those numbers suggest that if total turnout reaches 80 percent, more than 70 percent of the votes have already been cast."

From PolicyMic: "In Nevada, a swing state that polls suggest is leaning Obama, early votes accounted for 67% of total votes cast in 2008. During that election, Nevada’s early voters selected the president over Senator McCain by 12 points. This year, Obama’s lead has shrunk to only 7% according to the Associated Press."