‘None of These Candidates’ line on Las Vegas ballot is set to dump Trump

None of These Candidates

Las Vegas ballot

See important updates at end of story

Exactly one month ago, on October 4, I wrote about the possibility that two enduring characteristics of Nevada elections–a ban on write-in votes and inclusion of the option to vote for “None of These Candidates”–could determine the next president of the United States in a close national race.

My scenario is on the verge of coming true.

This afternoon, political pundits say that former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. can amass the needed 270 electoral votes if he captures Nevada–which he’s now leading in. In this roadmap he wouldn’t have to take Pennsylvania or Georgia, where he is behind President Donald J. Trump but also where a huge number of ballot from heavily Democratic areas remain to be counted.

Since I am New To Las Vegas, allow me to elaborate on Nevada, where the office of the overwhelmed Nevada Secretary of State now says counted-vote summaries won’t be updated until Thursday morning at 9 am PT. But as of noon Wednesday, the official Nevada tally, with 86% of the estimated vote counted, was this:

Biden 588,252 49.2%
Trump 580,605 48.6%
Jorgensen 10,852 0.9%
Blankenship 2,457 0.2%
None of These Candidates 10,391 0.9%

Biden is 7,647 votes ahead of Trump. That’s less than the 10,391 voters who opted for “None of These Candidates.”

This is significant because Nevada political experts long have thought NOTC draws far more regular votes from Republican candidates than it does from Democratic candidates. Indeed, in 2012 Republican National Committee supported a failed lawsuit to get NOTC off the ballot.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the state by 27,020 votes over Trump. NOTC drew more–28,863.

It was in 1975 that the Nevada Legislature added “None of These Candidates” in the wake of the Watergate scandal that drove Richard Nixon from office, supposedly to keep Republican voter from simply tuning out future elections. The preamble to the legislation said the intent was so that “any voter may express his lack of confidence in presidential candidates or candidates for statewide office.”

One thing we all probably can agree on: The unexpected closeness of the 2020 presidential race is proving to be a mandate for no one. “None of These Candidates” seems to capture this element.

UPDATE ON THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2020, 10:15 a.m.

The Nevada Secretary of State’s Office released new numbers showing that Biden’s lead over Trump has widened from 7,647 to 11,438. That lead is a little more than the 11,042 who voted for “None of These Candidates.” Between Biden and Trump, today’s update of 28,207 votes broke about 57% for Biden. If that ratio continues, Trump can’t win the state. Election officials said with more than 60,000 ballots yet to be tallied, mainly mail-ins, plus additional ones arriving in the mail thanks to the state’s permissive voting rules, counting could continue for another week.

UPDATE ON FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2020, 4:00 p.m.

New numbers released today by the Nevada Secretary of State’s Office give Biden a 22,657 vote lead over Trump, double that of a day earlier. “None of These Candidates” is drawing 11,906 votes. There are still tens of thousands of votes left to count.


On the basis of Pennsylvania returns, the national news media–even Fox News–all called the national race for Biden this morning. This deprived Nevada of a leading place in the sun, although AP and Fox News also called Nevada for Biden. Still, the counting here goes on. Just-released new numbers today slightly narrowed Biden’s lead over Trump in the Silver State to 22,464 votes. “None of These Candidates” has received 11,921 votes. There is still a lot of counting left.

UPDATE ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2020, 3:00 p.m.

Biden’s lead in Nevada significantly widened today to 31,464 votes, sufficient to give him for the first time a majority, at 50.09%. “None of These Candidates” has racked up 12,866 votes. There are still an estimated 82,000 votes to be counted.

UPDATE ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2020, 12:30 p.m.

According to the Nevada Secretary of State’s Office, Biden’s lead over Trump in the state has widened to 36,186 votes. “None of These Candidates” has been the choice of 13,376 voters. There are still lots of votes to count.

Follow William P. Barrett’s work on Twitter by clicking here.


‘None of These Candidates’ line on Las Vegas ballot is set to dump Trump — 2 Comments

  1. Rich, another insight: The tallest non-casino building in Nevada is the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas. The taller they go, the farther they fall.

  2. Having watched Fox News, CNN and MSNBC simultaneously on three screens for the last 24 hours, I can say that none of these networks has seized on this pearl of Nevada political insight. This despite telling us more about the demographics of Nevada “off the Strip” than we ever wanted to know.

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