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Nevada Approves Final 5; Rejects Democratic Governor Who Opposed It

Updated: Jan 18, 2023

The Democratic Governor who tried to keep Final Five off the ballot has just become the only Democratic Governor to lose his re-election this year. (see Facebook post)

Steve Sisolak attempted to prevent his voters from having the option of voting on if they wanted to change to a Final Five voting system, but he failed in court. Within the past hour, Final Five was declared the winner (holding a 52.5% to 47.5% lead), while Sisolak was declared the loser (trailing 46.9% - 49.3%). Democratic Governors went 12-1 in their re-elections this week, with Sisolak the only one to lose on the same day as his attempt to stop Final Five to keep the old Harry Reid machine dominating Nevada politics failed.

Fueled by hundreds of thousands of door knocks as part of an excellent campaign, Republican Joe Lombardo will be Nevada's next Governor.

Our article in Newsweek in May laid out why Final Five voting would produce more electable candidates and eliminate the spoiler effect of third-party conservatives peeling off enough votes from the Republicans to elect Democrats with less than 50 percent of the vote. This became even more clear this week as many Republicans who were much more electable in the General Election were simply not on the ballot and thus key seats were won by the Democrats.

If this system were in place, the same Republican nominees would have been on the ballot, but in conservative states, a second Republican candidate who could get 50% would also have been on the same ballot so voters could choose which Republican they wanted to represent them, rather than not vote Republican at all because their candidate was eliminated in the primary.

Some thought Oregon might offer a rare counterexample of a spoiler candidate helping a Republican this year by dividing the Democratic vote, but progressives have rallied under the Democratic banner at this stage and they consolidate around the Democrat once a Republican has a chance - unlike the countless cases in which conservatives takes votes away from the Republican to vote for the third, fourth and fifth place candidates (e.g. Wisconsin 2020 Presidential; 50,000 votes for other conservative candidates to give Biden the win), which let Democrats win without getting 50 percent of the vote.

The US Senate race in Nevada is coming down to the wire for one reason; the Libertarian nominee Neil Scott and far-right Independent American Party nominee Barry Rubinson have combined to pull in 10,554 votes that would have almost all gone to Adam Laxalt as their second choice if allowed with Final Five already in place - meaning that Laxalt would be ahead by close to 12,000 votes instead of 2,000 votes. Laxalt could still pull it out, but if he loses by fewer than 10,000 votes, then not having Final Five in place would cost the Republicans control of the US Senate control for the second straight election (much as Final Five in Georgia in 2020 would have given Republicans control of the US Senate).

Insanity is defined as doing the same thing and expecting different results -- so we will see if Final Five is more broadly accepted after this year's elections.

For more on TBORA's efforts on Final Five, please click here.


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