Clark County, Nevada Early Voting Day 3

Clark County early voting continues to go well for the Republicans.  They have a  lot of ground to make up but thus far they are really doing well.  I’m going to tweak the model after tonight’s or the next night’s numbers but so far the Clark model is holding up pretty well.  It nailed the GOP turnout for Day 3 forecasting 10,162 ballots when the actual was 10,219 (on Wall Street they’d say my forecast was “on the screws”).  The Democrat turnout however was well below my model which forecast 17,836 versus the actual of 15,015 — a pretty decent miss. This held true for the Washoe model as well which at this juncture could portend bad news for Democrats in the form of a lack of enthusiasm.  We’ll have to watch this closely. As it stands the actual Democrat lead in early voting is -8453 votes less than at the same time four years ago which is great news for the GOP. At this rate they would reduced the Democrat 2008 advantage by 33,800 votes leaving Democrats with a 48,000 ballot advantage on election day.  That would put the GOP well within striking distance assuming a Washoe win by 7,000 to 10,000 (Bush won it by ~7,000)  and a 35,000 “rest of the state” win (McCain won this by 25, 000). This is after only three days of solid performance and the historical trend favors the GOP building on these early success.

I wanted to throw a few charts out there to show the GOP historical trend.   First we see how the 2008 early voting played out where Democrats started out strong and faded from there.  The GOP started low in the beginning and improved consistently from that point forward.  Democrats, however, were so strong, the GOP never quite closed the gap.

In 2012, on the first day as I outlined in my prior Clark County post, the GOP solidly outpaced their Day 1 2008 performance.  Impressively they built on that in Day 2 allowing observers to draw inferences that something special was going on even in heavy Democrat Clark County.  Now Day 3 comes out and Republicans continue to close the gap with Democrats.  The Day 3 %s of the total vote were 49% Democrats and  33.4% Republicans, a reduced margin Republicans did not achieve until the 10th day of early voting in 2008 as you can see above.

At the same time, the Republican % of the Democrat continues to outpace my model achieving a level not expected until the 8th day of early voting.   My model expects the Democrats lead at the end of early voting to be 74,084, well below 2008 of 83,633 but probably not enough for Republicans to make up ground elsewhere absent a huge Romney win with Independents and cross-over voters.  My model however thus far assumes greater Democrat performance than we have seen and worse performance for Republicans than we have seen. Both great signs for the coming model tweak as we like what we are seeing.  As I wrote in the Washoe post regarding the predictive value of my model: “Using such limited data makes the models far less reliable for predictive purposes but still valuable to illustrate comparisons between the two elections.  The forecasting value is inherently low based on only one election’s data (2008) and one day’s voting (2012).  It is like extrapolating a heavily Democrat precinct’s data nation-wide in a Presidential election.  It tends to lead to wrong conclusions, right President Kerry?  But the model is very helpful for tracking purposes because deficits can signal signs of trouble while election-over-election advantages can indicate one party is making waves that could upset an election’s results.”  Thus far we see plenty of takeaways that the model helps illustrate but the projection now 12 days out remains unreliable from a forecasting standpoint.

This is a great start and a sign Republicans have a great opportunity seriously eat into the Democrats early vote strength and flip Nevada on the strength of ground forces alone. A final note of warning, this analysis must include the caveat that  Romney has to do well with Independents if he is going to turn Nevada red and this is something he has struggled with this cycle in Nevada.  Hopefully today’s event in Henderson and tomorrow’s event in Reno can turn that around.


  1. Tom
    Posted October 23, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This is terrible news for the dems, no wonder Romney is campaigning in NV. Mitt-mentum.

  2. Neil in NC
    Posted October 23, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for taking the time to put this together Keith. Do these totals include absentee ballots?

    • housebroken dad
      Posted October 23, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Great news about absentees – 36,786 ballots absentee
      D 15,525
      R 15,460
      I 5,801

    • Posted October 23, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

      No they do not include absentee ballots. My #s are only in-person ballots cast.

  3. dizzymisslizzzy
    Posted October 23, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    OT, but I just saw this:

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012 · by Riley · in 2012 Elections, Barack Hilton Kardashian, Polls. ·
    BREAKING NEWS: In the first indication that the Obama campaign is abandoning Virginia, Virtucon has received information that the Obama campaign has ceased polling in the Commonwealth.

  4. mdsanders
    Posted October 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for your in-depth analysis. This is great.

    I haven’t heard much about Ohio recently. I was reading somewhere about how much better Obama’s ground game is compared to Romney’s. He is said to have 3 times as many campaign offices. I guess I am starting to get worried about Romney’s prospects in Ohio despite the close polls. Thoughts?

    • zang
      Posted October 23, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

      See recent Suffolk poll. Tied 47-47, with internals showing Mitt has more room to grow.

    • Brian
      Posted October 23, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Whatever you were reading about Obama’s ground game being vastly superior to Romney’s is dubious at best. And Romney has offices all over Ohio. And the enthusiasm gap. And a substantial edge among Independents.

      Romney will carry Ohio outside the margin of fraud. Don’t worry.

  5. Tom
    Posted October 23, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    More evidence of the coming Romney mini-landslide. Romney 350+ EV. Mitt-mentum

    • Ranger375
      Posted October 23, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Your optimism is refreshing it reminds me of Christy regarding the first debate and he was right!

  6. uncdave
    Posted October 23, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for doing this…. love all your work and I am a big fan of your site,

    • Posted October 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks uncdave. You were one of the first to find the site and get the word out. I appreciate all you did to share my work. I’m a horrible self-promoter. It takes everything I have just to tweet out posts or send them to various journalists, so people like you are why this site took off. So thanks to you too!

  7. Eli
    Posted October 23, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Perhaps I’m missing something (and, as a Romney supporter, I HOPE I am), but there may be a simple reason for the disparity between 2008 and 2012. Nobody disputes that Obama voters are less motivated this time around relative 2008, and the opposite would be true for Romney voters (more motivated than in 2008). I don’t know about you, but if I am less motivated to do something, I may still do it, but I’ll do it a bit later. And when I am more motivated, I do it sooner. Look, the numbers as of election day will be down for Obama and up for Romney (relative to 2008). The question is the magnitude of the disparities. Whichever side is more highly motivated will tend towards voting more eagerly within the window of early voting. If (in theory) the number of repubs and dems voting early was precisely the same in 2012 and 2008, it would be expected that in 2012, due to the relative motivation of the two sides, Repubs would do comparatively better in the early going than dems (vs 2008), as they were more motivated to get their ballots in. It is ENTIRELY conceivable that in the last week of early voting, the trend would be reversed, and all the foot-dragging dems got their ballots in, whereas the Repub ballots per day would decrease as they had already voted. At the very least, SOME of the ‘gains’ that Repubs have made vs Dems are explained logically by this dynamic, i.e. Repubs that might vote in the last week before election were itching to get their ballots in early and the opposite for dems…..
    Note: I am NOT suggesting that I would expect a complete flip in the totals of Repubs and Dems vs 2008; merely that SOME of the disparity, and maybe a lot of it, could be due the motivation factor affecting teh TIMING of teh vote, and nothing more.

    Please reply, as I woudl rather be proven wrong than right.

    • Eric
      Posted October 23, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It’s not all about enthusiasm. It’s about organization. A lot of union organize their voters to go vote early. That’s where a lot of the Democrats’ advantage comes from. I do think you have a point about the enthusiasm playing a role though. It isn’t going to matter one way or the other though. Obama is losing in a blowout.

      • Eli
        Posted October 23, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

        re: union Understood. Traditional voting patterns are certainly dominant. (I think that) My point still stands, namely that a drop off of some magnitude would still b eexpected, as less motivated people may still act, yet they may act later. I don’t dispute that a less motivated Dem side will probably translate into some Dems not voting until after November 6th (ie not voting). I am just pointing out that you woudl EXPECT that some of that lack of motivation will show up by a shifting of the trend line to the right (i.e. three-week-early voters turn into two-week-early voters, two-week-earlyvoters turn into one-weekearlyvoters, etc. Given that it is hard to state what the magnitude of this ‘shift to the right’ woudl be (by shift to teh right I mean in the graph, not in political worldview), I am pretty sure that the above model overstates the Reublican advantage, and perhaps by a wide margin….. Until proven otherwise (obviously if this remains true day by day until there are three or four days left, it becomes LESS likely that huge numbers of dems vote in the last three days — but we certainly aren’t there yet.

        One of the traps in analyzing polls and internals is discounting the possibility of scenarios which run counter to the trend (i.e. Romney has momentum —> therefore ignore the effect which I describe). Another trap is perhaps giving too much credence to scenarios which are illogical merely because they COULD happen. I am not an expert on these issues, but I THINK that the scenario I have painted is one which actually IS very likely to be occuring. For that matter, even if it doesn;t shwo up in the end, I am sure that it is occuring to some degree, perhaps overwhelmed by faltering motivation as election day nears.

        IN any case, unless someone can show me where my logic is wrong, I would caution reading too much into these numbers — there very well MAY be countering stats coming in soon. (One other related note: when Dem organizers note the drop inm the first week (if the drop is sustained for that period of time), they will subject the stragglers to MORE pressure in teh second week than they otherwise woudl have, which may prioduce a bounce. Again, proabbly not enough to recapture all the missing vites, but maybe a whole bunch of them)…..

    • zang
      Posted October 23, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Early voting trends are like reading tea leaves, but they do tell you something. In California, “early voting” has historically been Republican. Even to this day. Don’t be surprised if you see Romney jump to an early lead in California on election night from the initial batch of mailed in absentee ballots, which are counted first. In Nevada, it has been the opposite. So if Democrat early voting is on the decline, it does tell us something.

  8. zang
    Posted October 23, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

  9. Eric
    Posted October 23, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Yeah Nevada is the state that I’m most concerned about losing too. The trend there towards Democrats is undeniable. It’s really becoming more like Oregon politically. Fortunately, Romney doesn’t need Nevada to win. A state like Pennsylvania is more likely to go Republican than Nevada. Romney’s also going to win Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Ohio.

    The Colorado prediction model had Obama winning Nevada but Romney winning everything else, including Minnesota. I still have my doubts about Minnesota, but it’s definitely winnable. I’d like to see some reliable polling out of Oregon actually. Haven’t seen anything there.

    • Posted October 24, 2012 at 6:32 am | Permalink | Reply

      I read somewhere that the Romney campaign had begun internal polling in Oregon recently.

  10. William Jefferson Jr.
    Posted October 23, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    So what is your estimate for what the gap needs to be for a Romney victory on election day? Do we win Clark on election day?

    • Posted October 23, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

      To be frank, the answer really does come down to Independents. Unless Romney has an advantage or at least ties Independents, it is hard to tell. If we assume a tie with Independents then I would venture the following #s are what to watch: At 50,000 Romney should feel competitive. At 40,000 Romney should be optimistic. At 30,000 he should win it.

      It doesn’t mean at 60,000 Romney will definitely lose. It only means his election day turnout will have to be incredible to overcome the Clark County early vote deficit. Obama won both the early vote and the election day early vote and neither was close. Romney is far better off than the 2008 situation but it is a lot to assume absent good #s in the early vote count.

  11. TheWIZZ
    Posted October 23, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    FLORIDA – Have I missed any of your reports on Florida ??>>> saw this post tonite on RCP and wondered if you had any thoughts = President Obama isn’t pulling out of any battlegrounds and believes he is winning or even in all the swing states, with early voting and turnout among young people and Latinos outpacing the historic levels of 2008, advisers told reporters on a conference call Tuesday.
    “The electorate is bigger this year, and our vote margins are too,” campaign manager Jim Messina said, citing polls and early-vote turnout numbers from Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin and Florida, among others. As an example, Messina noted that Democratic turnout in Florida at this point four years ago was 250,000 votes behind Republicans, whereas today Democrats are just 38,000 votes behind. Obama won Florida in 2008.

  12. Posted October 24, 2012 at 12:33 am | Permalink | Reply

    A few things to consider: Clark County has 89,801 early voters in the 3rd three days, while in ’08 there was only 68,927 after the 3rd day. The Dems lead after 3rd day is 18,095, while in ’08 the lead was 23,004. While this is an improvement, early voting in ’08 was only 60%, while it will probably be around 70% this year. That means it is possible for the Dems to be in a better position with a smaller lead then in ’08, simply because there are even fewer voters left to vote. In ’08, iirc, the Dems actually did better than the GOP on election day voters. The standard rule for winning Nevada for the GOP is to: 1). Turn out the rural counties; 2). Win Washoe County; and 3). Keep the Dems advantage in Clark County to single digits. Right now the Dems early voting is around 5% higher than their registration lead in Clark County; in Washoe County, the Dems turnout is about 7% higher (registration is about even in Washoe).

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] Interestingly, if you refer back to the 2008 chart, on Day 4 the Democrats achieved the same reversal of the GOP rising tide before the trend went back to compressing the proportional make up between the two parties.  As […]

  2. […] Day 3: Clark County, Nevada Early Voting Day 3 […]

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