The top Republican in the Nevada Assembly said during a radio talk show Tuesday that low turnout from minority and young voters could contribute to a winning election season for the GOP in 2014. Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey (R-Reno) is coming under fire from state Democrats for comments he made on the Dan Mason Show on KOH 780-AM radio in Nevada. “We have some real opportunities in 2014,” Hickey said during the Tuesday broadcast. “It is a great year in a non-presidential election. Seemingly no Democrats at the top of the ticket against (Republican Gov. Brian) Sandoval. No Harry Reid. Probably where we had a million voters out there in 2012, we have 700,000. A lot of minorities, a lot of younger people will not turn out in a non-presidential. It is a great year for Republicans.”
On Wednesday, Hickey explained to The Huffington Post that he was just pointing out historic facts about turnout in gubernatorial elections versus presidential elections. “What I was trying to say, in Nevada, historically, off presidential years have historically been lower turnout models,” Hickey told HuffPost.
… Nevada Democrats are attacking Hickey’s comments, saying they confirm that Republicans want to suppress the vote. State Democratic Party spokesman Zach Hudson questioned why Republicans vote against making voter registration easier and for pro-gun bills.
“He is acknowledging that the only way they can win elections is to suppress the vote,” Hudson told HuffPost. “They want to make it harder to vote but make it easier for people to obtain a deadly weapon.”