3 Straight Wins in Washoe County, Nevada for Republicans in Early Voting

For prior day’s post on Washoe early voting see: Washoe County Early Vote Shocker and Back to Back Washoe County Wins for Team Nevada.

In 2008 President Obama built insurmountable leads in early voting such that even if John McCain had competed heavily in Nevada, he would have had no chance to overcome the Obama early voting ground game.  2012 continues to be a very different story.  After being shut out in 2008, Republicans have now won 3 of the 5 early voting days in Washoe County. Today’s Washoe report shows Republicans casting 3541 ballots versus Democrats 3310 ballots.  This continues the trend of Republicans eating into Democrats overall lead which now stands at 983 more ballots cast. At this juncture in 2008 Democrats had an early voting advantage of 6353 ballots cast, a -5370 ballot difference. Note that the entire remaining advantage  is from the day 1 lead of 985 ballots and since then Republicans have averaged 0.5 more ballots cast than Democrats per day. Here is the current trend of Republicans and Democrats % of the overall early vote:

A couple interesting things about this chart. The Republicans make up of the total early voters has flattened out around 42.5% but the Democrats continue to see marked declines as a % of the overall vote dropping at a rate of 2% per day since early voting began. Although Republicans captured much of this vote on Day 2, it has been the Independents/Other parties capturing much of the Democrats decline increasing its vote % by 0.8pp per day on average. This only heightens the need for Mitt Romney to really gain ground with the Independents to neutralize a decided advantage Obama enjoyed with this group in 2008.

In actual ballots cast the Democrats are slightly outpacing their 2008 turnout at this juncture totaling 16,792 versus 15,469 — an 8.6% increase or 1323 ballots. Republicans on the other hand are dramatically outpacing their 2008 performance. Ballots cast by Republicans thus far total 15,809 compared to 9116 in 2008 — a 73.4% increase or 6693 ballots.

The Washoe Model

Right now my model is overstating Democrat turnout. The average daily turnout for Democrats after Day 1 is only 66.2% of the Day 1 result and not the 86.6% expected based on 2008 results. The overall opportunity for Republicans to make gains is greater going forward based on what 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 predicting 107% when in actuality it was 108%. This was based on the assumption of a 3.85% daily growth rate from 2008. The 2012 daily growth rate for Republicans as a % of the Democrat vote is 7.1%. I’m going to wait one more day before tweaking the model even with the overstated Democrat turnout because adjusting the rate of change for Republican growth can have a disproportionate impact on the model. Since today’s results were largely in-line with the model’s growth rate another day’s data would be meaningful in increasing the accuracy of new assumptions. As it stands the model expects Republicans to have a nearly 9000 early vote advantage heading into election day. In 2008 Democrats cast 11,987 more ballots in early voting than did Republicans. This would be a 21,000 ballot swing in a county President Obama won overall by 22,791 votes.


  1. zang
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 12:06 am | Permalink | Reply

    Looking good, looking good.

  2. Ron
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 12:16 am | Permalink | Reply

    I don’t understand the rationale behind GOP early voting. Don’t the Democrats encourage early voting because many of their people wouldn’t otherwise bother to vote on Nov.6? How does GOP early voting counter this–since most of our guys will vote in any case?

    • Posted October 25, 2012 at 12:20 am | Permalink | Reply

      As directly stated by the RNC Chairman, they are targeting “low propensity” voters. The same type of voter as Democrats just from a different demographic bucket.

      • Ron
        Posted October 25, 2012 at 12:43 am | Permalink

        Thanks. Makes sense.

    • zang
      Posted October 25, 2012 at 12:22 am | Permalink | Reply

      It gets a lot of votes in the bank and makes election turnout efforts more focused. Plus it addresses the possibility of a sudden blizzard costing you the election. In fact, it is pretty well acknowledged that Bush lost New Mexico in 2000 because a huge snow storm hit the parts of the state he was most popular in.

    • Posted October 25, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It’s also psychological. Too big of a Dem early vote lead, and some people will think it’s all over and just stay home.

  3. EpiphoneKnight
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 1:00 am | Permalink | Reply

    So what are the chances of a Romney win in NV then? Estimates/guesses?

  4. Nick
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 1:01 am | Permalink | Reply

    Love these early voting posts! Thanks for doing them. What about Ohio early voting? Any useful information out there that can give us a sense of how Romney is doing there or how nov 6 will turn out?

    • EpiphoneKnight
      Posted October 25, 2012 at 1:08 am | Permalink | Reply

      Just saw a Rueters article making fun of Mitt for even trying in Nevada, calling Obama’s early voting lead “Unstoppable.” They also claim O is up nationally too. *shrug*

  5. Dave
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 1:26 am | Permalink | Reply


    Would this be the article?

    Does it sound that bad? Not too bad to me. The word unstoppable was from a “top political anylyst in the state.” describing the Obama campaign’s ground operation there.

    • Dave
      Posted October 25, 2012 at 1:31 am | Permalink | Reply

      Couldn’t find the part of the article that said O was ahead nationally.

      “Locked in a tight race nationally, the two men are also fighting hard over Nevada and its six electoral college votes”

      With the highest unemployment rate in the nation you have to wonder what NV voters are looking for in a candidate. This may be a hint…

      “In a good sign for Obama, Public Policy Polling also said on Wednesday that 84 percent of African Americans and 79 percent of Hispanics were “very excited” about voting, compared to 72 percent of whites.”

      • EpiphoneKnight
        Posted October 25, 2012 at 1:50 am | Permalink

        That’s the article. I was referring to a different link that had O up nationally. Sorry for not specifying.

      • AussieMarcus
        Posted October 25, 2012 at 3:21 am | Permalink

        Reuters own poll has Romney ahead nationally doesn’t it?

      • EpiphoneKnight
        Posted October 25, 2012 at 3:29 am | Permalink

        Yep, I guess I was looking at an old link. Sorry. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/25/us-usa-campaign-poll-idUSBRE89K0A920121025 This is the up to date one.

      • EpiphoneKnight
        Posted October 25, 2012 at 3:29 am | Permalink

        Was looking at Tuesday’s numbers. Mitt took the lead on Wednesday.

  6. Posted October 25, 2012 at 2:49 am | Permalink | Reply

    What do you think of this report?


    It seems that the guy is bragging about being “ahead” but neglecting that the lead Obama is building will be substantially lower than it was in 2008.

    • Posted October 25, 2012 at 7:09 am | Permalink | Reply

      All I will say is if you look at my past posts I regularly credit Ralston for being an expert on Nevada and honest broker despite his personal politics which are far left. I no longer do that.

      I will tell you this though, he loves chatting on twitter especially when big name people tweet him. Multiple times he’s been asked about my models and he conveniently goes very quiet and doesn’t answer their tweets. I’m letting Ralston dig his own grave.

  7. Yong
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 4:38 am | Permalink | Reply

    I hope the trend continues but bigger. I hope in a week, the gap is so small in Clark co. and Mitt takes Washoe co BIG.

  8. Posted October 25, 2012 at 5:59 am | Permalink | Reply

    Just found this great site. I like many of you follow the polls and go to the internals to really decipher the true results. I am a contract pilot flying in Africa and the news I get here is very liberal as it is all over the world. CNN International is conservative by comparison to most stations. Thank you all for the breakdowns I see by many of you and it just confirms to me that most polls have an agenda. To Get Obama re-elected. To have any creditable they are forced to get closer to reality as the elections draw near. The only way I get any good news here is through my slingbox connected to my Directv in the US which is connected through the internet as long as I have a good bandwidth. Thanks again for the great blogs.

  9. Posted October 25, 2012 at 6:56 am | Permalink | Reply

    Morning AP national poll has Romney up 2, 47-45 and excellent internal numbers. 34/30/27 for a fairi looking sample.

    • Posted October 25, 2012 at 8:57 am | Permalink | Reply

      Definitely a fair sample, but I think with enthusiasm it may be tighter than that. Both Gallup and Rasmussen party ID polls indicate that things are about even (Rasmussen’s showed the GOP ahead in registrations). I think D+4 is the highest anyone can rationally go nationally, but I think anywhere from R+1 to D+4 is where it’ll land, but closer to even or slightly lean Republican. There were a lot of evangelicals that sat out 2008 and a lot of organizations that did not work to move them. That’s not the case this year, so that can help to tilt the scales a bit. With Romney drawing more independent favor than Bush did in 2004, that can play very heavily.

  10. beach91
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 6:58 am | Permalink | Reply

    Love this site Keith!! I found this site from redstate.com and enjoy the poll internals. I look at this several times a day and really enjoy the articles about the NV race.

  11. No Tribe
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink | Reply

    “As it stands the model expects Republicans to have a nearly 9000 early vote advantage heading into election day. In 2008 Democrats cast 11,987 more ballots in early voting than did Republicans. This would be a 21,000 ballot swing in a county President Obama won overall by 22,791 votes.”

    So in 2008, Obama led by about 12K in early voting, and added another 10K+ on election day for his margin.

    Let’s see if your model stands up.

    Since we know that Washoe is one of the 106 swing counties, this is huge!

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