Early voting is a new phenomenon that is has great implications on the final election outcome. Despite this, I don’t much enjoy blogging it. The numbers get updated sporadically, there is an inherent uncertainty in what the requests or submissions actually mean and the sample sizes are really small. This makes drawing conclusions not much better than just plain old guess work until a critical mass of votes have accumulated. And by that time someone else has already done a better job analyzing the data than I could so I just leave it to them. One of the only reasons this blog has any popularity is I am doing the work major media outlets refuse to do which allows them to misrepresent the polls however they like (always against Republicans obvs). That said, I know this is rightfully a big issue to a lot of people so I’ll provide some preliminary info and direct you to where you can check the numbers in the coming days for yourselves as you see fit.
Thus far 3 Nevada Counties have reported results: Carson County, Douglas County and Washoe County. Of this list we only care about Washoe County (Reno) because that is one of the Battleground Counties, it comprised nearly 19% of the 2008 Nevada electorate and Romney should flip it back after Obama carried it in 2008. This is why yesterday’s endorsement of Romney by the Reno Gazette-Journal was so important. Endorsements may not persuade voters, but they are a clear indication of informed voter sentiment. And when they switch endorsements against an incumbent that is noteworthy.
This is much the same as all-important Clark County (Las Vegas) which accounted for over 67% of the total Nevada vote in 2008. Obama will carry Clark, but it is the margin that will be key. Clark releases their first day data at 11pm Mountain time (1am EDT).
So we see the combination of Clark and Washoe account for 86% of the entire Nevada vote making the rest of the counties rounding error to what happens in those two population centers. Every other county is also heavily Republican too so seeing advantages there don’t mean as much either.
Day 1 results are as follows:
Responses are by party registration, not their actual vote
2012 Washoe County: 9,638 votes
- Dem 47.8% — 4607 votes
- Rep 37.5% — 3614 votes
- None/Oth 14.7% — 1417 votes
Thanks to commenter M. Remmerde we have the 2008 day 1 comparison for Washoe:
2008 Washoe County: 6,554 votes
- Dems 59.64% –3909 votes
Rep 25.45% — 1668 votes
Other 14.91% — 977 votes
The Democrat advantage of 34 points on the first day four years ago is now on 10 points . But just as interesting is the enthusiasm measure. The total early vote is up 3,084 but the Democrat vote increase is only 698 and the “Other” is up only 440. Republicans on the other hand are up 1,946, 3x as much as the Democrats. That type of enthusiasm and early vote ground game is quite similar to what we are seeing in Ohio. It’s only day one but it’s nice to come out of the gates strong. Heavily Democrat Clark County is the real test but expect incredible Democrat #s there just like Iowa. They key for Republicans will be to fight their way back from now until election day to “mind the gap.”
Clark County: 33,204 votes, this is an increase from 25,100 in 2008
- Dem 55.4% — 18,388 votes
- Rep 28.9% — 9588 votes
- None/Oth 15.7% — 5228 votes
Nevada expert Jon Ralston says the percentage split is similar to 2008. No exact 2008 #s given. UPDATE: Getting word that Mr. Ralston may have shaded his color on the 2008 comparison. The current spread of ~26% is a big spread but I’m hearing it’s much smaller than the 2008 margin, much like Washoe County. I still don’t have verifiable numbers so I’ll leave it at that for now (time for bed). If it is true, though, I will be very disappointed in Ralston. As I say every time he is a big ol’ Lefty, but he always played it straight when it came to running the #s and analyzing data. It doesn’t appear he did so in this instance. As a matter of fact, he just tweeted out the 2008 Rep # was 5,733 which means this year they had a 67% jump in early voting. That is huge. The gross increase in votes is 8,104. 3855 comes from the GOP and if we hold Other steady at 15.7% as a control their increase is 1287. That leaves only 2962 of the increase for Democrats. So the GOP picked up approximately 900 votes versus 2008 on Day 1 of early voting in a state with possible the least effective local party in the nation.
Now my #s are estimates based on holding “other” steady from 2008, but in that instance, we get the following for 2008 Day 1 #s:
- Dem 61.4% — 15,426 votes
- Rep 22.8% — 5733 votes
- None/Oth 15.7% — 3950 votes
A 38 point spread in 2008 is now a 26 point gap in 2012. That is a big deal if these #s prove close to correct. Romney won’t win Clark but he needs to “mind the gap” which at least on Day 1 is exactly what he is doing. Great news for the GOP and Ralston is doing the dance of joy on behalf of the Democrats? I don’t know what is going on with him these day but he’s been unusually petty and partisan the last couple of weeks. It’s very unbecoming. As someone who respects his work, I’m disappointed he put out clearly wrong information when he had every reason to know it wasn’t so. Fool me once, shame on you …
Carson County: 1,109 votes
- Dem 35.3%
- Rep 49.1%
- None/Oth 15.5%
Douglas County: 3,037 votes
- Dem 27.7%
- Rep 57.2%
- None/Oth 15.1%