Friday, October 26, 2012

Some Quick Math

Earlier this morning, Ralston posted this update on early voting.

The Democrats extended their lead in Clark County to about 36,000 voters over the Republicans with another solid day and another day where 30,000-plus voters turned out. It now seems reasonable to assume the lead will be 40,000 or so after one week.

With a week to go, that would put the Democrats about halfway to the lead they had in 2008 --83,000. I don't think they will get there, but they don't have to. Obama won the state by 12 points (Clark by 19) with that lead. All he needs to do is be in double digits in Clark, and he will win Nevada unless there is a landslide in Washoe, which does not appear to be happening (there were no numbers posted for Washoe as I write this).

The latest Clark numbers (mail and early votes):

Democrats -- 105,674, or 50 percent

Republicans -- 69,512, or 33 percent

Others -- 37, 264, or 17 percent

And he just tweeted this.

Washoe numbers posted. Dems won Thursday by 36 votes out of 8,300-plus cast. So Republicans not doing much to get lead in swing county.

This is not where Republicans want to be as the first week of early voting wraps up. Even though Republicans have caught up a little since Sunday, they're still underperforming voter registration overall in both major population centers in the state.

The Secretary of State's early voting report was released yesterday before the Clark and Washoe numbers are updated. But since it looks like the dynamics weren't changed too much last night, I'll use these figures for now. As of yesterday afternoon, 46% of Nevada voters who have already turned out are Democrats, while 37% are Republicans and 17% are Nonpartisans or of minor parties.

Now, let's play this scenario. Since most polls show the two major party bases consolidated, I'll give 90% of the Democrats to Obama and 90% of the Republicans to Romney. This means that most likely, Romney is getting at least 33.3% of the vote while Obama is getting 41.4%. And what about the remaining 25.3%? If he isn't winning over at least 66.01% of the Nonpartisans and "soft" partisans (aka the remaining 25.3%), then he's losing the early vote right now. And he's probably losing the early vote quite badly.

(If we're "fair" and split Nonpartisans about evenly, Obama is leading by at least high single digits right now among the early votes already cast.)

So far, the "Team Nevada" Republicans have been spinning to the media that they're really not doing all that badly. Hogwash. If they weren't, the numbers wouldn't look like this.

So at this point, all Republicans can do is push more of their voters to turn out... And hope Democratic turnout falls off. Because if the trajectory stays as is, then expect to see plenty of cheerful Blue come the night of November 6.

12:15 PM UPDATE: Well, it turns out I was right in my earlier call. Here's Ralston with the latest.

Statewide NV numbers updated: Dems leading in early vote and mail. Have 26K vote statewide. 46% to 37%. Huge turnout. Um, about that call...

So we're officially ending Week 1 with a 9% Democratic turnout advantage statewide. This is why Mitt Romney operatives and Nevada Republican consultants are so nervous now. As long as the trajectory holds in Week 2, the trend isn't looking good for them.

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