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The top Republican in Nevada's state assembly predicted earlier this week that his party will triumph in 2014 in part because minority and young voters will be more apt to stay home in a non-presidential year.
State Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey (R) made the comments in an interview with conservative talk radio host Dan Mason.
"We have some real opportunities in 2014," Hickey said Tuesday. "This is a great year in an off-presidential election. Seemingly no Democrat on the top of the ticket against [Gov. Brian] Sandoval. No Harry Reid. Probably where we had a million voters turn out in 2012, we'll have like 700,000. A lot of minorities, a lot of younger people will not turn out in a non-presidential. It's a great year for Republicans."
Hickey told The Huffington Post on Wednesday that he was merely discussing historical trends in off-year elections.
"What I was trying to say, in Nevada, historically, off presidential years have historically been lower turnout models," Hickey said, while defending his record on issues important to the Hispanic community.
"We certainly in Nevada are encouraged by Governor Sandoval, being a Hispanic sitting governor who is enjoying broad support," Hickey said. "Persons like myself in the Legislature supported a resolution for comprehensive immigration reform and driver's license cards. That is helping the standing of Republicans in Nevada, especially in state legislative races."