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Nevada Emerges as Key Battleground State

Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller, a Republican, at a rally celebrating the opening of the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign headquarters in Las Vegas.
Art Silverman, NPR /
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Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller, a Republican, at a rally celebrating the opening of the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign headquarters in Las Vegas.

Nevada's booming population means the state's political makeup changes significantly from one election to the next. Though President Bush carried the state in 2000, this year analysts say Nevada is almost evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. Las Vegas is heavily unionized and tends toward Democratic candidates. Strong Republican support outside Las Vegas comes from ranchers who graze cattle on federal land. NPR's Robert Siegel recently visited Nevada to explore key issues that may decide the presidential election there.

Correction, aired April 22, 2004: When this story aired on April 19, we misstated a rancher's reasons for being uphappy with the actions of the Clinton administration related to grazing on federal land. The rancher was angered at what he perceived as an increase in paperwork related to grazing, not an increase in fees for those rights. President Clinton asked for a hike in fees, but Congress was unwilling to go along.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Prior to his retirement, Robert Siegel was the senior host of NPR's award-winning evening newsmagazine All Things Considered. With 40 years of experience working in radio news, Siegel hosted the country's most-listened-to, afternoon-drive-time news radio program and reported on stories and happenings all over the globe, and reported from a variety of locations across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. He signed off in his final broadcast of All Things Considered on January 5, 2018.
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