Republicans Continue to Make Waves in Clark County, Nevada Early Voting

Plenty to see in the latest #s. Clark County remains a really tough nut to crack for the GOP but there is plenty of good news once we dig into the numbers. On Day 4 of early voting Democrats cast 15,310 ballots while Republicans cast 9911 ballots. This was a 2% day-over-day (dod) increase for the Democrats and a -3% dod decline for the Republicans. Basically, Democrats held serve on Day 4 marginally reversing the compression between the two parties proportional representation of the overall early vote total. Despite the one-day flattening of the trend, Republicans remain far motivated and active in early voting nearly doubling their 2008 output while Democrats are failing to even meet their 2008 levels beyond the first day pop.

Election over election comparison at the same point in 2008:

  • Democrats overall lead today is 23,490
  • Democrats lead in 2008 was 32,380
  • Higher mathematics says that is an 8890 reduction

Comparison versus same party performance:

  • Versus 2008 Democrats have 978 fewer ballots cast overall
  • Versus 2008 Republicans have 7912 more ballots cast overall
  • Democrats are averaging 244.5 fewer ballots cast every day
  • Republicans are averaging 1978 more ballots cast every day
  • At those rates, Democrats early vote advantage would shrink from 86.5k in 2008 to 55.5k by election day


The Clark County Model

We’ve been using our crude model created after just one days #s which admittedly left a lot to be desired in predictive value. But now after four days we have enough data to make some tweaks to model assumptions. As the #s above show, 2012 has been a repeat of 2008 which is what we used as the basis for our original assumptions. 2008 saw greater day to day volatility while 2012 has seen comparatively stable daily results. Possibly THE question to answer to form a predictive model at this point is whether Republicans continue their historical trend of daily improvement versus Democrats or whether the comparative percentages flatten out.  Although 2008 saw Republicans steadily gain on Democrats, admittedly not without a set-back or two, the last three days in Clark County have been remarkably consistent.  Democrats % of the overall vote has stayed within a 1.1% range (50.1 to 49.0) while Republicans % has stayed within a 1.4% range (33.4 to 32.0).  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 such for our model we will maintain an expected growth in the GOP’s percent of the vote relative to the Democrat’s performance.

New assumptions:

  • In the 8-days following the Day 1 pop in 2008, Democrats averaged a turnout relative to the Day 1 total of 88.8% before steadily ramping up the turnout into election day.  In 2012 Democrats’ post-Day 1 average is only 78.6% of the Day 1 turnout at 14,446 ballots cast. Other than a one day spike in 2008, Democrats turnout was fairly stable for the remaining days until the ramp-up into election day.
  • We are going to adjust our input for Democrat turnout to their current 3-day average up to the ramp-up point (Oct 29) and grow the turnout at 2008’s rate.
  • The 2008 rate is calculated using the actual turnout relative to the Day 1 total.
  • The rate of change for Republican growth relative to Democrat turnout in 2012 has been 4.2%.  Our earlier model set the growth rate at 2.4%.  We are going to insert the new 4.2% growth rate into the model building off the Day 4 result which was Republicans at 65% of the Democrats turnout.

Under these new assumptions using 2012 actual data and overlaying them on the 2008 results, our model expects the Democrats advantage in Clark County heading into election day to be only 40,820 — a -51% decline from 2008 (83,633) or an advantage of -42,813 fewer ballots cast.


  1. Dogfish
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink | Reply

    So, is your conclusion that we (Romney) would win Nevada if the Democrat advantage on election day is at 40,820 as your model predicts?

    • Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink | Reply

      Nevada is harder to read than an Iowa where the electorate is more stable. There’s a lot less certainty with what these #s mean in Nevada than what they mean in Iowa. I’d like to see more polls on how Romney is doing with Independents. There is some disagreement over how he is doing with that group but I view his as down with Independents. If he doesn’t improve that standing it will be very tough for him to win. With that out of the way, at 40,000 I think Romney should be optimistic about his chances. Does it mean he should be confident? No. But at 40,000 the campaign would know they have enough votes between Washoe (probably a net Romney win by 10-15k) and the rest of the state (a Romney win by 30-35k) to meet and beat the Democrats early vote advantage.

      • Dogfish
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        Keith, thanks.

        As I have said before, you site is very interesting and I am impressed with the analysis that you do. (I do wonder if you sleep)

        Thanks for providing the info and for making the site available to us political junkies.

      • TeaPartyPaul
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        No time to sleep Keith! Biggest election of our childrens lifetime!

      • Posted October 24, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        Mark Mellman, who was one of the only pollsters to call Nevada right in 2010, is showing Obama with a 8 point lead, and a lead among independents of 22%. Combine this with the Democrats having a 25,000 vote lead so far in early voting after only four days, and things are looking bleak for Romney and Heller. The Dem registration lead in Clark is 15%, while their participation rate in early voting is higher than that. Early voting probably going to be 70%+ of the vote; even if Romney gets a huge boost on election day, the Dems will likely have built up far too much of a firewall of early voters.

  2. Neil in NC
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks again Keith. You must be tired. Stay away from the energy drinks.

    Is there a point where we run out of Republican voters before the election? SoS shows in 2012, registered, 436,799 Republicans, 526,986 Democrat, 219,299 Non-Partisan, 58,120 Independent American and 16,407 others (Green, Libertarian, etc). 946,563 total voted in the last election. Do we have any idea of the number of cross-overs there were to PBO from the registered Republicans in 08?

    In your next post would you be willing to put these numbers into perspective. I believe PBO won 08 by 121k votes. Is that correct? There is also a third voting area. Are those numbers available?

    Perhaps a running final projection comparing past performance to projected performance? Ok – where do you want me to send the energy drinks. 😉

    If you want to GoogleDoc your spreadsheet perhaps others can assist. It would be an interesting crowd sourcing experiment.

    • Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink | Reply

      Lots of good questions. If you scroll back using the Nevada tab on the left you’ll see I addressed some of these issues like 2008 win margins for Obama.

      There is an issue of cannibalizing votes but you’d rather bank them early than hope they show up on election day. That’s hwy the voter registration efforts leading up to the election are so crucial. It would suck to lose but if you lose because you banked all your votes ahead of election day then there is no shame in that. The voters simply rejected your message. It’s not a problem worth worrying over.

      There is no way to know what the cross-over vote is expect based on public polling.

      I considered adding in absentee votes and spoke to the Clark County registrar but it wasn’t as clean as the in-person #s (you need Microsoft Acess and other crap) so I passed. Have to leave something to the pros.

  3. Dennis
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink | Reply

    Rasmussen has Romney ahead by four points again today, but warns that the single day’s data after the third debate reverts to merely a two point lead. More confusing to me is this statement:

    “In Ohio, the race is now tied at 48%. Romney is trusted more than Obama on economic issues and energy policy, while Obama has the edge on national security. The president has a 10-point advantage among those who have already voted.”

    Does that ten point advantage factor into the 48% tie? Does it mean Obama has now a structural advantage like he did over McCain, which allowed him to beat McCain in Ohio even though McCain beat him in Ohio on election day?

    • equityval
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink | Reply

      Does anyone know how the 10 point early vote lead in OH compares to a similar point in 08 campaign?

  4. TeaPartyPaul
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink | Reply

    Romney is OVER PERFORMING compared to 2008 drastically in Absentee ballot requests…

    P.S. Remember Ohio doesnt seperate by party, just if the voter/voters voted in the last democrat/republican primary

    • No Tribe
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink | Reply

      I’d like to see that difference drop into the 5%’s

  5. Dogfish
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink | Reply

    The thing that I find most encouraging about the numbers that Rasmussen is providing for Ohio is that he is showing a 48-to-48 tie. That means 4% not accounted for or undecided.

    If that is the case, it bodes well for Romney in that history tells us that the large majority (67%+) of undecideds will go with the challenger. If Romney gets 67%+ of the 4% that are undecided, then he carries Ohio.

    • William Jefferson Jr.
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink | Reply

      47-47 w/out leaners, which is where Suffolk had it. Obama’s approval sub-50% in the state. I think we know where this is headed.

4 Trackbacks

  1. […] […]

  2. […] Republicans Continue to Make Waves in Clark County, Nevada Early Voting « Battleground Watch. […]

  3. […] appears to be a definite enthusiasm drop-off in early voting by Democrats when you look at both Clark and Washoe County. The model did however practically nail the Republican % of the Democrat vote […]

  4. […] Day 4: Republicans Continue to Make Waves in Clark County, Nevada Early Voting […]

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