ALL SIGNS INDICATE NEVADA REMAINS A BATTLEGROUND AND THE -KEY- TO VICTORY IN THE SILVER STATE MAY LIE IN WASHOE COUNTY.
This all started 21 months ago....with this gathering of the Democratic candidates in Carson City. This forum was the first big event of the caucus and primary season....and since then the candidates and campaigns have found their way back to northern Nevada often.
Increasingly the attention has been on Washoe County. With Clark County historically Democratic, the rurals reliably Republican, Washoe, where registration has now evened, has emerged as the swing county in what could be the swing state.
Both county Democratic chair Chris Wicker and his Republican counterpar Heidi Smith say national media and political figures tell them eyes are on Washoe even though the electoral map has changed in recent weeks. The reason: the recent gains in Democratic registration giving them a slight lead in what has been a Republican area. With populous Clark County historically Democratic and the rurals reliably Republican, Washoe, the thinking goes, could decide the state and if Nevada were to decide the election........
So, the continued attention. In the past 2 weeks, we've seen Sarah Palin make a second visit to northern Nevada. Last weekend Barack Obama returned again for an outdoor rally at the university.
Today, with warm ups from actors John Ratzenburger and John Voight, Mitt Romney pumped up about 250 of the party faithful at a Reno rally.
Unlike John McCain, Romney campaigned hard for the Nevada caucus and he won it handily. It;s likely most of those in the crowd at the rally stood up for Romney at the caucus and he remains popular here. So he was perhaps the right surrogate to charge up the party faithful.
Romney says the election could still very well come down to Nevada and his one time rival is the right candidate for our state. "Barack Obama's positions are all wrong for Nevada," he said.
Romney admiitted he wasn't changing minds in the audience. He was talking with the base, but it remained important to keep them energized and to make sure they vote. "When it's close it comes down to turnout."
It's not over yet. Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin will be back in Reno for an election eve rally Monday night at the Livestock Events Center.