Washoe County Sunday Early Vote: For the GOP the Treand is Not Your Friend

The expected Sunday early voting drop-off occurred in Washoe County with only 4326 total ballots cast (57% of the 2012 weekday average).  Democrats cast 1932 ballots while Republicans cast 1519, for a 413 ballot advantage.The reality for the GOP is they are going to need to reverse the trends in early voting if they expect to meaningfully outpace Democrats in 2012. As it stands Democrats have a 1611 advantage in partisan ballots cast in 2012, down from 9376  at the same point in 2008 — a -7765 election-over-election reduction. The second week of early voting is expected to be at least 1/3 higher than the first week in Washoe so there are plenty of opportunities to not only make-up ground but quickly pass the Democrats.  At this juncture until the GOP strings together a couple day-over-day wins in early voting they can only take solace in the tremendous reduction in Democrat advantage from 2008 but not a full reversal into a GOP advantage as was hoped for at the onset. One trend however does offer the GOP a reason for optimism.  The Independent/Other turnout continues to climb in overall make-up of aggregate ballots cast.  We’ll have to see a few more polls to confirm this is good for Romney, but if he continues to carry this group by sizable percentages he may well have more banked votes than we realize at this point.

The Washoe Model

We are going to administer some “final” tweaks to the Washoe model and do much the same for Clark County.  Many of the model’s original assumptions were made using only one day’s actual data plus a few trends gleaned from the 2008 results.   We now have 9 days data of actual 2012 turnout which gives us a better sense of what is actually happening on the ground in Nevada.  Therefore we are going to use the 2012 weekday average Democrat turnout (3115) from last week as the base for the expected ramp-up in 2012 turnout during the coming week. The daily ramp-up percentage will be the differential between the 2008 first week average daily gross turnout (6639) and daily 2nd week gross turnout (Mon: 117%, Tues: 140%, Wed: 153%, Thur: 184%, Fri: 165%). With dramatic increases in turnout throughout the second week it becomes that much more imperative for Republicans to outpace Democrats during the stretch run.  The expected daily growth rate of the GOP turnout is the toughest figure to get a handle on.  After coming out of the gate strong the subsequent fade makes putting a reasonable number here with any certainty nearly impossible. Excepting the Sunday results with its unusually small sample-size out outlier negative growth, the rate of change in the GOP’s performance is low (+2%) but at least positive.  We will leave it at that for now but may adjust after Tuesday’s data is released.  With these new assumptions, the model expects the Democrats to end early voting with a  1126 advantage in ballots cast — down from 11,978 in 2008.


  1. Pete
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Seems like the trend nationally is the independents are strongly Pro-Mitt. As I’ve said before, I think the Mormon vote really helps Mitt to winning NV.

  2. Eric
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Looks like it’ll come down to the wire in Nevada. I’m concerned about the growth of Clark County in Nevada though. It gets bigger every election. I think Obama is very narrowly ahead in Nevada. Fortunately, Nevada leans further to the left than other states that will put Romney over the top.

    • Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:17 am | Permalink | Reply

      Nevada is not in play. Obama will win comfortably. For some reason polls always get NV wrong and they underestimate D results.

      • Matthew Schultz
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:31 am | Permalink


      • Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:37 am | Permalink

        Evidence of underestimate? In 2008 RCP average had O+6.5. He won +12.5.

        In 2010 polls had Angle winning NV by 2.7. Reid wn by 5.6. Not even close.

      • AC
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:39 am | Permalink

        That’s one election. If you are a Democrat troll, then please leave this website.

      • Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:40 am | Permalink

        Actually that’s two elections, 2008 and 2010.

    • AC
      Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:38 am | Permalink | Reply

      I am not disagreeing with you, but I would have thought that Clark County would have shrunk in size during the recession — due to decreasing job opportunities. Also, didn’t a lot of people leave Las Vegas and abandon their houses?

      • Posted October 29, 2012 at 2:31 am | Permalink

        Clark County seems to be coming in at about 70% of the total vote after the first week so far. Pretty in line with their % of the population.

    • Kevin
      Posted October 29, 2012 at 2:12 am | Permalink | Reply

      It will be hard for Romney to win Nevada since SEIU is contracted out to run the voting machines in Nevada. Not that they’re bias towards a certain political party.

  3. Eric
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    TCJ Research has Obama up 1 in Nevada

    • zang
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Is TCJ an actual pollster, or just someone posting “poll” numbers on a website?

      • Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

        Do a quick Google search of TCJ Research. They predicted Sharron Angle would beat Harry Reid by 6!

      • Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

        Wait, they also predicted Fiorina would beat Boxer.


        It’s pretty clear that it’s not a real polling firm

      • Eric
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:08 am | Permalink


        Actually incorrect. They predicted Angle by 1.

        Stop being a leftist hack and check the facts. Polls were very wrong in 2010 and favored Democrats. TCJ was one of the few firms that were closer to accurate than the others. They may have leaned slightly towards Republican candidates, but they were way closer than most other pollsters. Just read the page at that link.

        Most the media polls are just like they were in 2010, 2006, 2004, and 2002. They leaned Democratic more than the actual results. The reason for that is that media-run polls don’t properly screen out non-voters. They include too many Democrats as a result. It’s not a conspiracy. Check the historical record.

        Those media polls do a good job of measuring what they are polling, and that is an electorate with a 90% turnout rate. Actual turnout rates are 65-70% in real elections. They were right in 2008 by coincidence.

        What they did in 2008 is this:
        They included too many Democrats in their polls because of loose likely voter screens (just like they always do). Additionally, they included too many Republicans in their polls because they counted unenthusiastic Republicans as likely voters. The addition of too many Democrats and too many Republicans canceled each other out, thus producing an accurate overall result. The reality is that their polls are more accurate in big Democratic years and less accurate in big Republican years. 2002 was their worst year when the electorate happened to be R+1. The polls that year were off by an average of 5 points skewing towards Democrats.

        Pointing out these facts does not make me some nutty conspiracy theorist. I don’t believe that the media is trying to make Obama’s position look better with biased polls (except in the case of PPP). They just have poor methodologies. You can’t just ask a voter how certain they are that they are going to vote. 90% answer that question that they are 100% certain that they will vote. You have to dig deeper like Gallup does to get accurate results. That’s expensive to do and a media or university-run poll usually doesn’t want to spend the money to do it.

      • Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:13 am | Permalink

        Do a Google search. This is not a real company.

      • Eric
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:19 am | Permalink

        This is from their website:

        TCJ Research is a Republican-backed, privately owned polling group that launched in 2010. We gained notoriety (unoffiicially) as the most accurate House pollster of the midterm, with our 7 House polls trending to the Republicans by a slim margin of 1.2 points, on average.

      • Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:32 am | Permalink

        Forget Reid. They predicted Boxer would lose!


        Meanwhile EVERYONE agreed she would win:


        Note that the Boxer-Fiorina race is yet another example of PPP having a pro GOP bias.

        Repeat, not a real firm, just made up stuff.

      • Lana
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:57 am | Permalink

        Peter, nice try. The poll you link too was taken almost two weeks before the election. They’re polls indicated the shift back to Boxer that occurred at the end of the cycle.

      • Posted October 29, 2012 at 1:07 am | Permalink

        Lana, there was no shift back to Boxer. She was always ahead. The good news is that RCP did not include this made up poll back then.

      • Lana
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 1:24 am | Permalink

        Carly had momentum temporarily. TCJ’s final polling showed Boxer up 3. Still off, but not terribly more than other pollsters. Love how you trolls cherry pick one poll from an otherwise exceptional record and then say the whole group is crap. Look at their house polling. That’s an impressive record no matter how you try to spin it.

    • Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

      They need to fix their poll, it is a D+4, but they have Berkley in the writeup instead of Romney. In 2008 it was D+8 and the independants went for Obama by 13 points. The have too few Republicans and too few Indies in this poll and it is tied.

      • Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

        btw, Romney is doing better in this poll with crossovers than McCain did. This actually gives me hope about Nevada.

      • Posted October 29, 2012 at 2:37 am | Permalink

        In Clark County, the Democrat’s raw vote lead share of the total so far is about 60% of what it was in 2008.

    • Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:14 am | Permalink | Reply


      • Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:17 am | Permalink

        The date on the article in Oct 11th. As I recalled even Ras had her up until the final week. She faded in the last 5 days before the election.

      • Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:18 am | Permalink

        Even Ras? Ras has a pretty bad record. In any case a look at their website and Goggle search shows they are a propaganda outfit, not a real company.

      • Evan3457
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        Because Google results never show political bias themselves. Google Santorum sometime and see for yourself.

  4. Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I guess if you’re gonna have a “weak” state, it might as well be one that only has 6 electoral votes…..

  5. Mike in Colorado
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This seems like too much percent movement on the graph for such a relatively small disparity in today’s vote compared to the running total which I have as 64,198. I have D at 42.6%, R at 40.1% and Other at 17.3% according to the numbers in the spreadsheet. Am I missing something?

    • Mike in Colorado
      Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:09 am | Permalink | Reply

      I think I get it now. The graph is % of DAILY total not running total.

  6. Brad
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:14 am | Permalink | Reply

    NV is a lost cause without a 4 to 1 independent advantage. I think this is why you’re seeing Mitt & Co. focusing their energies on WI, OH, VA, FL and maybe MN…and perhaps OR and MI next week rather than fighting against very strong headwinds here.

    • Brad
      Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:15 am | Permalink | Reply

      CO and IA also included in the above…could see them go after PA if things break hard their way too, but that wild scenario would put NV back in it too so…

      • Brian
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:21 am | Permalink

        He’ll go after Pennsylvania before Michigan, and both of those before Oregon.

    Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:20 am | Permalink | Reply

    Two questions-

    1) According to my math, D’s are up 27,365 to 25,754 in early ballots. Back in 2008 at this point, the advantage was 9,376 for Dems so assuming the same number of total votes at this point it was 31,248 D to 21,872 R. That’s a 12.5% decrease from 2008 for Dems, and a 17.7% increase from 2008 for R’s. Now if you assume the entire vote in Nevada will follow this pattern, you get a 12.5% decrease on Obama’s 2008 total vote of 533,736 for a 2012 vote of 467,019 and a 17.7% increase of McCain’s 2008 total vote of 412,827 for a 2012 vote of 483,008. This would be a net win of 15,991 votes for Romney, and with about a million votes expected to be cast in Nevada, would be about a 1.6% margin (something like 49.8 to 48.2, with the remaining 2 percent going to other candidates). Does this look right?

    2) Love this site. Just wondering why so much attention is being paid to Washoe County here, or if it’s just the only county in Nevada releasing early data?

    • Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:52 am | Permalink | Reply

      Here’s what I wrote on Washoe and Clark earlier:
      In 2008 Barack Obama won Nevada by 121k votes. Nevada is unique to most states in that it is really no more than 3 areas, Clark County (Las Vegas), Washoe County (Reno) and everyone else in between. In 2008 Clark accounted for 67% of the vote, Washoe accounted for 19% of the vote and the rest of the state accounted for 14%. President Obama won Clark by 123.7k and Washoe by 22.8k but lost the rest of the state by 25k (effectively cancelling out Washoe). For these reasons Clark County gets the lion’s share of attention although Washoe gets its fair share. The increased focus on early voting also shares this focus with Republican’s chances of carrying Nevada depend greatly on their ability to stay close in Democrat-heavy Clark (“minding the gap’), while trying to flip Washoe back into the GOP fold and running up leads everywhere else.

      Check some of the Nevada posts from last week on the early voting and you’ll see a lot of the answers to your questions:

    • ed
      Posted October 29, 2012 at 1:03 am | Permalink | Reply

      Well as I understand it, Washoe County is the second largest voting county in NV. To the extent the GOP can reverse or “narrow the gap” in early voting from the GOP’s performance of 2008, this may offset some of the disparity in early voting expected to result in Clark county NV’s largest voting county.

      To win NV the GOP must keep close as possible in the early voting in these two counties to allow for their expected tallies in the rest of the state to overcome the “banked” votes particularly in Clark county.

  8. ed
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 1:03 am | Permalink | Reply

    well…he explains it better….

  9. nvClark
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 1:14 am | Permalink | Reply

    Clark numbers good again today. Reps down, but Dems cratered, down over double the day’s Republican turnout decline, so that today cancels out nearly all of the divergence from yesterday on a percentage basis.

    • Posted October 29, 2012 at 1:19 am | Permalink | Reply

      Since it’s Sunday, everyone is expectedly down but as a % of the overall vote Dems fall like a stone while Reps trend up slightly and Independents shoot up. Writing it up now …

      • nvClark
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 1:27 am | Permalink

        The funny thing is that I would have expected the fact that it’s Sunday to disproportionately depress Republican turnout since they are more likely to have scheduling or value conflicts against voting on Sunday. But it’s actually the Dems that disproportionately failed to turnout. I hope that’s a sign of things to come in the next week.

  10. HillBilly
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 1:35 am | Permalink | Reply

    this entire election was terrible this year. All other elections you had a democrat and republican. Basically some form of capitalism. In this vote it’s a moderate republican vs. a progressive (communist) etc….Mitt must win…..DOH

  11. HillBilly
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 1:35 am | Permalink | Reply

    If he doesn’t win we’re screwed 😦

  12. ed
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 1:44 am | Permalink | Reply

    I’ve listened to Mitt all throughout the primaries and always thought he was the best candidate against Obama. As a total package I just don’t see why folks don’t think he is a genuine conservative? Strong military, free markets traditional marriage and social issues down the line. Did he make some compromises as a Governor of a liberal state 10 years ago…sure. But in my assessment he is a strong free-market capitalist conservative in the mold of Edmund Burke to Reagan. I’d say he is a constitutional conservative with a proactive foreign policy bent. But maybe I’ve missed something…

    • Dave
      Posted October 29, 2012 at 2:11 am | Permalink | Reply

      All I’ll say is that if elected, Romney will have to acknowledge the will of the indepedent voter who typically are more moderate on perhaps some social issues and foreign policy than far rights. I understand the far right is a principled bunch and that’s admirable but the reality is without the moderates, the far right conservatives would face another 4 years of Zero. The ultra conservatives in this country are just going to have to come to terms with that just as moderates are going to have to come to terms with a more conservative agenda on some important issues.

      I think that’s one of Zero’s downfalls. He reached out to independents last election but veered farther left in actual governing leaving conservative moderates and some democratic conservatives feeling like his policies (esp fiscal policies) now don’t reflect their values. And if Romney does that (if elected) he’ll also find it hard to reelect. All the ultra conservative angst in the universe won’t put a candidate in the white house. Zero also had an easy road to the white house. I won’t say exactly why but come on. And now, he needs all the support from the establishment he can get to get another 4 years.

  13. Dave
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 1:48 am | Permalink | Reply

    It’s a done deal. The extra votes needed to approximate, match or exceed 2008 turnout for Obama have been created and are being distributed to critical states as we speak. If you think for one second, that all the (wealthy) people who have invested time and engery and massive amounts of captial into seeing their agenda implemented the last 4 years (green energy, Obamacare, “tax reform”, stock market pump–proof that Kensian economics works, etc.) go down the tubes over some stupid little election, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. Add to that the risk of watching all they’ve worked for evaporate in another 4 years, not to mention a real possibility of a more conservative supreme court, if they fail to act now (and the $$$ at stake if the Fed stops spending), I’ve got another bridge to add to the first. These poeple not only consider themselves above the law, they consider themselves above democracy. Reports of busloads of somalians voting, you read about earlier is just the tip of the iceberg. The fraud will go much much deeper. These people are used to getting their way. To them, votes can be bought and printed as easily as the Fed prints money. Elections are for manipulating these days just like stocks and the SP futures. That’s what they’re used to and that’s what they’re going to try to do. The only thing that can stop them is a counter assault. What that will be is anyone’s guess.

    • Dave
      Posted October 29, 2012 at 1:52 am | Permalink | Reply

      And Europe has a real interest in seeing the status quo matained and the sipgot of $$$$ flow from the US continue to help support the Euro.

      • Posted October 29, 2012 at 2:08 am | Permalink

        So how much for both those bridges? How about a handful of silver dimes?

        I’d recommend you drop the neo-Paulian doom and gloom and do something productive. You’ll feel better. And stay away from Infowars. *eye roll*


    • Dave
      Posted October 29, 2012 at 2:22 am | Permalink | Reply

      “Zionist Redneck”
      “I’d recommend you drop the neo-Paulian doom ”

      A name says it all doesn’t it?

      In other words trust the process that it will work as designed? You’ve already got reports of voter fraud. Oh, and I suppose you’d argue that dead voters have never voted in the past..and that this time it’s going to be different.

      Is that what your saying?

      All I’m saying is that don’t put your party hat on yet because there are likely things going on that you have no idea. Human nature is human nature and I dont think that statement above veers that far from tendencies of human nature.

      As I’ve said in all my posts about that angle (point of view..and that’s all it is…a different slant on things other than the raw raw Romney) I hope it’s not even close to accuate (although as things are starting out that doesn’t seem to the case)

      • Posted October 29, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        No, I’m pretty much saying “chill out.” Don’t be an Eeyore frozen in place. Go and do something useful.

        As to voter fraud, are -you- registered as a poll worker? Are you making calls to get more of our voters to the polls? Don’t build ‘strawman’ arguments or put words in my mouth with respect to voter fraud. If it isn’t close they can’t cheat (much). Go do something useful.

        Of course there are things going on that I have no idea about. But you’re in the same boat unless you’re doing something other than sitting behind the keyboard.


  14. HillBilly
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 2:25 am | Permalink | Reply

    I think mitt is headed to wisconsin

  15. HillBilly
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 2:27 am | Permalink | Reply

    How does Mitt Take all this stress?

    • Dave
      Posted October 29, 2012 at 2:33 am | Permalink | Reply

      He might know a littlre more than we do. The unknown may not be as great for him than it is for us.

  16. HillBilly
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 2:29 am | Permalink | Reply

    what’s mitt schedule the next days?

  17. Posted October 29, 2012 at 2:42 am | Permalink | Reply

    My take:

    Clark County (home of Las Vegas and 70% of the state’s population) day 8:

    D over R margin’s 44K. Was 50K in ’08. Total vote 3/2 more than in ’08. Dem lead is 60% of ’08

    2012 after day 8: R 33.0%, D 49.1%, I 17.9%
    In ’08 after day 8: R 28.3%, D 55.4%, I 16.2%
    In ’10 after day 8: R 37.8%, D 46.5%, I 15.7%

    Washoe (home of Reno and 20% of the state’s population), the Democrats have about a raw voter lead of a bit over a thousand.

    Washoe will likely be a wash (pun intended), with the rural counties cutting the Clark lead estimate of about 85K Dem raw voter lead on election day to about 60K, this would mean that Obama would win by around 6%, based on ~80% turnout. Probably 40% of the total vote has been cast so far.

    Since Heller has been running 4-6% ahead of Romney in the polls, the Senate race looks like a toss up right now.

    Two things are making me less pessimistic about Heller. I’ve heard from some die-hard lefties I know who enthusiastically voted for Obama, that they voted for Heller because they couldn’t stand that Auton-American Shelley Berkly (D – Nestene Consciousness). Also, the Las Vegas strip early voting site where a lot of the union workers go, had a lot of those union members go in and vote for Obama like they were told to do… and then left everything else blank.

  18. C-Bus GOP
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 2:47 am | Permalink | Reply

    Great read http://www.redstate.com/2012/10/26/why-i-think-obama-is-toast/

    Really well written and well thought out piece with plenty of supporting facts and figures.

    Really interesting to compare and contrast a site like this one or freerepublic.com to the equivalent on the left. On this site, all we want is the truth. We discuss polls, we pick apart polls and examine the facts. We are just as willing to say when things might not look as good as we would hope (i.e. Nevada) as much as we are willing to say things actually look better (i.e. Ohio).

    Over on the left’s side all you see re-hashed is personal anectdotes (i.e. My mom is voting for Obama so that must mean we’ve got Florida locked up) or re-hashing of Obama memo propaganda. There is no effort to go and look for facts that might not be easilty obtainable. The mentality is that if it ain’t on the front page of RCP on a given day it does not exist. And then there’s the patron saint of all democratic message boards, Nate Silver. His word is the ultimate gospel.

    I tell you what – that guy better start backing off of his ridiculous BS pretty soon or he is gonna lose every single ounce of credibility he ever had come 11/6.

    The article I referenced goes into exquisite detail to make the case that the national electorate is going to be somewhere greater than R+1. Rasmussen and Gallop are predicting that this will be the highest R to D ratio election ever.

    All these D+8 polls will go up like tinder. Given that Romney is carrying the I’s only a high D ratio can save Obama now, and he ain’t gonna get it. This has been building for 3+ years and we are just about to see this wave crest, this wave we started to see back in 2010 has only gotten stronger.

    I also found out that PPP is funded by the SEIU. Go figure! Yet Nate Silver and RCP put it into their models and averages. Hacks.

    We are on the cusp of seeing something really special.

    • TheTorch
      Posted October 29, 2012 at 6:51 am | Permalink | Reply

      We are on the cusp of seeing something really special could not agree more. Some people are doing their level best to prop up Nate Silver, because some people have a ton of money riding on it. I look at all the polls good ones, bad ones. I am comfortable in saying that for Romney, Florida and NC is a lock, virginia is comfortable, Ohio is tougher, but the trend line is good for Romney, looking good.

      With regard to Nevada, this one is tough, the Democrats clearly have an impressive ground game and the GOP has been playing catch up, but they are putting up a good fight, and yes Romney could take Nevada, but they will need to mind that gap with the early voting even better. Romney has some campaign rallies there soon, which could help boost things.

      As it stands right now though, Romney is looking at a comfortable win, question is whether it is 1 or 2 states that puts him over the 270, or whether it is a blow out. If the independents break as some of us think they will get ready for a blow out!

      If I was a Democrat, at this moment, I would be in full on panic mode.

      Looking at the state of the Obama campaign they clearly are… (always the first hint of a meltdown).

      • TheTorch
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 6:57 am | Permalink

        and do not be surprised by the PPP polls. They have a final act to perform this week. Prop up Obama, they will do the best they can, to give the Dems hope even in Florida! All part of the meltdown… Dont be depressed, Look for it and savour the moment! it is looking grim for them and they know it.

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