2004 United States presidential election in Nevada

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2004 United States presidential election in Nevada

← 2000 November 2, 2004 2008 →
  George-W-Bush.jpeg John F. Kerry.jpg
Nominee George W. Bush John Kerry
Party Republican Democratic
Home state Texas Massachusetts
Running mate Dick Cheney John Edwards
Electoral vote 5 0
Popular vote 418,690 397,190
Percentage 50.47% 47.88%

Nevada Presidential Election Results by County, 2004.svg
County Results

President before election

George W. Bush

Elected President

George W. Bush

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, 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.[1]

  1. D.C. Political Report: Slight Republican
  2. Associated Press: Toss-up
  3. CNN: Bush
  4. Cook Political Report: Toss-up
  5. Newsweek: Leans Bush
  6. New York Times: Leans Bush
  7. Rasmussen Reports: Toss-up
  8. Research 2000: Lean Bush
  9. Washington Post: Battleground
  10. Washington Times: Solid Bush
  11. Zogby International: Kerry
  12. 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%.[2]


Bush raised $2,296,762.[3] Kerry raised $793,504.[4]

Advertising and visits[edit]

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.[5]


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
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican George W. Bush (incumbent) 418,690 50.47% 5
Democratic John Kerry 397,190 47.88% 0
Independent Ralph Nader 4,838 0.58% 0
N/A None of these Candidates 3,688 0.44% 0
Libertarian Michael Badnarik 3,176 0.38% 0
American Independent Michael Peroutka 1,152 0.14% 0
Green David Cobb 853 0.10% 0
Totals 829,587 100.00% 5
Voter turnout (Voting age population) 50.0%

Results breakdown[edit]

By county[edit]

County Kerry % Kerry # Bush % Bush # Others % Others #
Elko 19.9% 3,050 78.0% 11,938 2.1% 321
Lander 20.2% 414 78.0% 1,602 1.8% 37
Eureka 19.5% 144 77.4% 571 3.1% 23
Lincoln 20.4% 418 77.1% 1,579 2.4% 50
Esmeralda 20.6% 99 76.3% 367 3.1% 15
Humboldt 25.4% 1,361 72.6% 3,896 2.0% 110
Churchill 26.4% 2,705 71.5% 7,335 1.9% 197
Pershing 28.1% 538 70.0% 1,341 2.0 38
White Pine 28.5% 1,082 68.5% 2,604 3.1% 116
Lyon 32.9% 5,637 64.9% 11,136 2.2% 378
Douglas 34.6% 8,275 63.6% 15,192 1.8% 431
Nye 38.7% 5,616 58.5% 8,487 2.8% 407
Storey 40.2% 871 57.8% 1,253 2.0% 44
Mineral 40.0% 931 57.4% 1,336 2.6% 60
Carson City 40.9% 9,441 57.0% 13,171 2.1% 494
Washoe 47.0% 74,841 51.3% 81,545 1.7% 2,693
Clark 51.7% 281,767 46.5% 255,337 1.5% 8,293

By congressional district[edit]

Bush won 2 of 3 congressional districts.[6]

District Bush Kerry Representative
1st 42% 57% Shelley Berkley
2nd 57% 41% Jim Gibbons
3rd 50% 49% Jon Porter


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:[7]

  1. Joe Brown
  2. Milton Schwartz
  3. John Marvel
  4. Beverly Willard
  5. Paul Willis