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Memo to Nevada Republicans: Forget Voter Registration

The Nevada Secretary of State’s office released voter registration numbers yesterday which show Democrats continuing to enjoy a 64,000-voter lead. Republicans shouldn’t sweat it. In fact, the smart thing would be to ignore it….for now.

Look, Republicans have recently won in states with FAR bigger Democrat majorities. Scott Brown’s U.S. Senate victory in Massachusetts in January comes to mind. As does Chris Christie’s gubernatorial win last November in New Jersey.

You see, it’s not how someone is registered; it’s how someone votes that matters. And that’s especially true of the large bloc of “independent” voters who don’t belong to either of the major political parties. Republicans should focus more on how get voters to vote for them than how to get non-GOP voters to join the party.

The fact is, many people are willing to vote for GOP candidates these days, but it’s more because they can’t stand the Democrats than love for Republicans. This is a lesser-of-two-evils election. Spend-thrift, big-government, “compassionate” Republicans blew their opportunity when they had the majority in Congress and control of the White House. And they haven’t yet re-earned the nation’s confidence.

This year’s elections will be like a trial membership at a fitness club. Voters who are unhappy with the current management of the government will be willing to give the other guys another shot. Indeed, Republicans could well regain one, and maybe both houses of Congress in November. And we may well have a Republican governor in Nevada again next January.

But it’s what Republicans do with their victories that will determine whether or not many voters actually join or rejoin the club.

If Republican candidates lay out a responsible, fiscally-conservative, limited-government platform, run on, win on it, and then VOTE THE WAY THEY CAMPAIGNED, the voter registration numbers in Nevada will take care of themselves in time for the presidential election in 2012.

Independent voters, and a fair number of conservative Democrats, appear ready to give Republicans another chance to get it right. But having been burned by the guy selling bogus beanstalk beans before, they’re gonna take a Reagan-like “trust, but verify” attitude when it comes to actually registering or re-registering with the GOP.

We won’t get fooled again.

At this point in time, the GOP would be better advised to use its time and money developing a solid, coherent message, selling it….and then honoring it. THEN, and only then, will Republicans earn enough trust to attract registrations again.