2016 presidential election Nevada

To win the 2016 presidential election, candidates will need to focus on capturing the swing state of Nevada. (Image: csmonitor.com)

The 2016 presidential election is surrounded by plenty of unknowns, but one safe bet is the importance of winning the swing state of Nevada.

Following Iowa and New Hampshire, Nevada stands to be the third state to hold its Republican and Democratic primaries, meaning candidates will need to place a greater emphasis on appealing to residents through campaigning and fine-tuning their policies to adhere to what Nevadans value.

While states have moved up and leapfrogged others in the past, primary voting will most likely begin with the Iowa caucuses on February 1st, 2016, followed by New Hampshire on February 9th and Nevada on February 20th.

Nevada is where more Americans come to test their luck than any other, but in 2016, it could also be where politicians vying for the White House see their fate ultimately determined.

Where the Candidates Stand

Since the presidential election is still 21 months away, many names have been tossed around as probable candidates, but none have been officially confirmed. Here’s where the notable favorites stand in regards to gambling online, a key issue to both Casino.org readers and voters in Nevada.

The Democratic Picture

With Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) repeatedly saying she won’t run and VP Joe Biden unlikely to challenge, former Secretary of State, New York Senator, and First Lady Hillary Clinton is the odds-on favorite. Her political history is a bit mixed concerning online gambling. She voted for the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, the legislation that would ultimately lead to online poker’s Black Friday. However, Clinton also supported a study in 2008 to investigate how online gambling could be regulated in the US.

So how would a second Clinton administration look? It’s tough to tell, but most feel Clinton would oppose measures to block Internet gaming such as the Restoration of America’s Wire Act that was presented before Congress in 2014. Little is known in regards to where she would stand on determining whether online gambling should be mandated at the federal or state level, a question Hillary will likely need to answer as she campaigns through Nevada.

GOP More Complicated

Following Mitt Romney’s departure, no clear frontrunner exists for the Republican ticket. Here are the contenders ranked in order of their current Real Clear Politics polling position.

Jeb Bush: The former Florida governor is an outspoken opponent to online gambling and the expansion of land-based casinos. However, his brother George W. carried Nevada in the 2004 election, and is currently the favorite in Vegas for the nomination.

Chris Christie: The NJ governor is pro-Internet gambling, leading his commonwealth to becoming just the third state to legalize online poker and casino games. With his state’s own gaming economy, Christie should easily connect with Nevadans.

Mike Huckabee: The former Arkansas governor and Fox News host is a vocal critic of iGaming. “Online gambling websites are preying on every kid with a smartphone or a tablet,” Huckabee said last November.

Hillary Clinton appears to be about as much of a sure thing as one can be in politics. Assuming she takes the Democratic nomination, it will be the Republican primary that draws the most interest come campaign season.

Purple State

Nevada has historically been a purple state, which is why its primaries are held so early.  Both the GOP and Dems want a fair and balanced, unbiased base of constituents to determine which candidate is best suited to win over Americans of all political stances. With a Republican governor and Democratic majority state legislature, Nevadans are known for putting politics aside.

Since 1980, Nevada has voted for the overall winning presidential candidate, a streak of nine consecutive elections. Although the state has only six Electoral College electors, they will be some of the most sought-after half-dozen votes in 2016.