2004 United States presidential election in Nevada
|Elections in Nevada|
|None of These Candidates|
The 2004 United States presidential election in Nevada took place on November 2, 2004, and was part of the 2004 United States presidential election. Voters chose five representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Nevada was won by incumbent President George W. Bush with a 2.6% margin of victory. Prior to the election, news organizations who made predictions were split on whether Nevada was a swing state or leaned towards Bush. Kerry won just one county of the state—Clark County, Nevada's most populous county, and home to Las Vegas. Kerry's second-best performance in the state was in Washoe County, Nevada's next-most populated county, which he lost with 47% of the vote. The statewide results were very similar to the nationwide vote, making it the bellwether of the 2004 election. Moreover, Nevada at the time had voted for the winner of every presidential election since 1912, except for 1976, and later 2016. Independent and third-party candidates collectively won 1.7% of the vote; among this group, Ralph Nader received the greatest share, garnering 0.58%. As of the 2016 presidential election[update], this is the last time that Nevada was carried by the Republican nominee, and also the last time Washoe County voted Republican.
There were 12 news organizations who made state-by-state predictions of the election. Here are their last predictions before election day.
- D.C. Political Report: Slight Republican
- Associated Press: Toss-up
- CNN: Bush
- Cook Political Report: Toss-up
- Newsweek: Leans Bush
- New York Times: Leans Bush
- Rasmussen Reports: Toss-up
- Research 2000: Lean Bush
- Washington Post: Battleground
- Washington Times: Solid Bush
- Zogby International: Kerry
- Washington Dispatch: Bush
Bush trailed in only one pre-election poll throughout the general election. By the fall, Bush pulled away and reached 50%. However, in the very last week, some voters changed their preferences against Bush, resulting in his polling margin falling slightly. An average of the final three polls before Election Day showed Bush leading 49% to 47%.
Advertising and visits
Bush visited the state 3 times, while Kerry visited Nevada 6 times. Both of them visited the same places: Las Vegas and Reno. Almost every week, the candidates combined spent over $1 million in advertising.
As Bush's share of the vote in Nevada for the previous presidential election fell slightly short of 50%, he was thought by many observers as vulnerable in the state. Bush ended performing almost identically to his showing in 2000, and although he managed to receive a slim majority of the vote in this election, his margin of victory was smaller, due to Kerry's improvement over Al Gore.
Despite winning all but one of state's counties, Bush performed less consistently in Nevada's congressional districts, where he won two of the three—one of them by just a single percentage point.
As of 2020, this is the last time a Republican won Nevada, at the presidential level.
|2004 United States presidential election in Nevada|
|Republican||George W. Bush (incumbent)||418,690||50.47%||5|
|N/A||None of these Candidates||3,688||0.44%||0|
|American Independent||Michael Peroutka||1,152||0.14%||0|
|Voter turnout (Voting age population)||50.0%|
|County||Kerry %||Kerry #||Bush %||Bush #||Others %||Others #|
By congressional district
Bush won 2 of 3 congressional districts.
Technically speaking, the voters of Nevada cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. Nevada is allocated 5 electors because it has 3 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 5 electors, who pledge to vote for their candidate and his or her running mate. Whoever wins the majority of votes in the state is awarded all 5 electoral votes. Their chosen electors then vote for president and vice president. Although electors are pledged to their candidate and running mate, they are not obligated to vote for them. An elector who votes for someone other than his or her candidate is known as a faithless elector.
The electors of each state and the District of Columbia met on December 13, 2004, to cast their votes for president and vice president. The Electoral College itself never meets as one body. Instead, the electors from each state and the District of Columbia met in their respective capitols.
The following were the members of the Electoral College from Nevada. All 5 were voted for Bush/Cheney, to whom they were unanimously pledged:
- Joe Brown
- Milton Schwartz
- John Marvel
- Beverly Willard
- Paul Willis
- http://www.dcpoliticalreport.com/members/2004/Pred2.htm#NW[permanent dead link]