Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010 | 11:02 a.m.
WASHINGTON -- On the heels of the Republican Senate victory in Massachusetts, the optimistic head of the Nevada state Republican Party projects a “Republican renaissance” in the state, and promised to close the nearly 100,000 voter registration advantage Democrats now enjoy by Oct. 1.
“We envision in Nevada being in a statistical dead heat with Democrats on who’s going to show up and vote,” Nevada Republican Party chairman Chris Comfort said in a call with reporters.
Already, Democrats have seen what had been a 100,000-person advantage among active voters at the start of 2009 slip to 84,000 by year’s end. During the same time period, the number of active Republicans also dropped. But the number of independents, including those who are not active voters, rose.
Comfort said he imagines the state Republican Party wooing those independents under what he described as a “big tent" -- a concept that may counter the purity tests facing Republican candidates in Nevada and nationwide as conservatives push the party to the right.
“You’re going to see a Republican renaissance take hold in Nevada,” Comfort said.