“None of the above” isn’t the name of a racehorse; it’s simply a placeholder for the name of somebody — anybody — whom Democratic Nevada voters would prefer to elect to the Governor’s office than the choices they were given at the polls on Tuesday.
“None of the above” took 29.96 percent of the vote, with real (if little-known) candidate Robert Goodman receiving 24.9 percent. Under Nevada law, Goodman will move ahead as the Democratic nominee for Governor, facing (and almost certainly losing to) Republican incumbent Governor Brian Sandoval in November.
Goodman finished first among named candidates in an extremely crowded field of Democrats. The Las Vegas Review-Journal described “None of the above’s” victory as an apparent “protest vote” in a primary that featured much lighter voting than did the State’s GOP primary.
“In what appeared to be a protest vote over the lack of a strong challenger to GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval, more Democrats opted for ‘None Of These Candidates’ over the eight actual individuals running for the party nomination,” the Review-Journal reported Wednesday:
Eric Herzik, a political science professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, said he was shocked when the early returns suggested that the choice would outperform all of the actual candidates.
The reasons are twofold, he said. First was the total lack of knowledge most voters had about the candidates, none of whom spent any real money to raise their name recognition.
For many Democratic voters who knew something of the candidates, the reasoning appeared to be that none of them were worthy of support, he said.
“It is absolutely a slap in the face,” Herzik said. “Regardless of why it happened, this adds insult to injury.”
Since Nevada implemented the “None of the above” option for State-level races in 1975, no gubernatorial race has ever ended with the “None” option receiving the most votes — until Tuesday’s Democratic primary.