The RealClear Politics poll average shows Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton by 2 points in Nevada. In spite of that, political analyst Jon Ralston is making grim predictions for Trump based on early voting numbers. Ralston has gotten it right where the polls have gotten wrong before.

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In the 2010 U.S. Senate race, polls in Nevada showed Republican challenger Sharron Angle with a sizable lead over incumbent Democrat Harry Reid yet Reid defeated Angle handily.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s final polls in the two most closely watched Nevada races wound up having about as much predictive power as the Old Farmer’s Almanac in forecasting the winter snowfall.

One of its polls, published Oct. 29, showed Republican Sharron Angle beating Sen. Harry Reid 49-44. Four days later, Reid wound up winning 50-45.

Another poll, published on Halloween, had Republican Joe Heck beating Rep. Dina Titus 53-43. Heck won by less than 1 percentage point.

Both polls drove news coverage in Nevada and nationally, framing the political narrative as one in which Republicans had both races firmly in hand in the final days.

Ralston called it right in 2010.

 

Harry Reid is the most resilient figure in Nevada political history. He should not even be here. He lost a U.S. Senate race in 1974, embarrassed himself in a mayoral race in 1975 and should have lost his re-election bid in 1998. But he found a way to win 12 years ago, and he will again Tuesday.

As they say in the investment business, past performance is no guarantee of future results. That doesn’t mean past performance isn’t relevant though.