Understanding the Hispanic Vote in Nevada

Understanding the Hispanic Vote in Nevada


PNA has been a national leader in understanding the diverse political and cultural landscape of the Hispanic community.  Beginning with our work in the intermountain West, PNA has used innovative research techniques to accomplish a variety of different goals for subscribers and clients, amassing a rich body of research along the way.

Our experience includes:

•  Over 30,000 bilingual interviews
•  Over 30 Hispanic focus groups and in-depth ethnographic studies
•  Over 30 Hispanic polls in a dozen states and numerous national projects
•  Nationwide Hispanic voter micro-targeting analysis


At the outset of the 2010 election cycle, Nevada had the nation’s highest foreclosure rate and second highest unemployment rate, so voters were angry about the economy and unhappy with every elected official in the state.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid faced a tough battle that required unique strategies to win. One crucial task was to understand how to motivate and persuade Nevada’s growing Hispanic population, which voted in record numbers in 2008. In addition to the challenge of overcoming traditionally lower Hispanic voter turnout in off year elections, the Nevada GOP nominated a Hispanic Republican candidate for Governor that had real crossover appeal.

Our Research Approach:

Building off of PNA’s past work, we knew that Nevada Hispanic voters would not respond to a single cookie-cutter campaign message. Through extensive qualitative and quantitative research, we developed strategies to appeal to voters in both English and Spanish communications, without dividing the electorate on racial or ethnic lines.  We found culturally sensitive messages that helped voters connect with Harry Reid and showed how Sharron Angle, the GOP nominee, was out of touch with the community on the economy,
education, and immigration.

Our Impact:

PNA subscribers used the research to engage Hispanic voters with impressive results.  Messages and programs were tailored from campaign committees to Independent groups to civic engagement voter registration efforts. In the election, Senator Reid received the support of more than two-thirds of Hispanics – matching the 2008 performance. Among Hispanic voters, turnout in Nevada was the highest of any battleground state - 40% above the national average.  

Project New America