Category Archives: Nevada

0.3% is the Difference Between President Romey and President Obama

A strategic shift in 0.3% of the vote changes the President of the United States. Of course it matters greatly where those 0.3% are located as Team Obama knew from Day 1 while Team Romney keeps smacking their forehead saying “Now they tell us!” Jim Geraghty keeps up with the turnout math:

[H]ere is an updated set of numbers, according to the results this morning on the New York Timesresults map:

Florida: 73,858

Ohio: 103,481

Virginia: 115,910

Colorado: 113,099

Those four states, with a collective margin of, 406,348 for Obama, add up to 69 electoral votes. Had Romney won 407,000 or so additional votes in the right proportion in those states, he would have 275 electoral votes.

Obama’s margin in some other key states:

Nevada: 66,379

Iowa: 88,501

New Hampshire: 40,659

At this hour, 120,556, 279 votes for Obama and Romney have been counted nationwide.

Team Romney GOTV Excuse Making Doesn’t Pass the Laugh Test

Per usual, Mike Murphy remains the very last person the GOP should ever listen to:

Seven Battleground Counties to Watch on Election Night

Same original author as the earlier piece (Chris Palko) but an election night spin on each county with few repeats.  This guy does good work. Lots of smart info:

Looking for some shortcuts when it comes to projecting which candidate has the edge Tuesday night? Once returns start coming in, turn your focus to these seven counties—they will be small scale indicators of that state and national results:

Prince William County, VA
Virginia will be one of the first states to report results on Tuesday night, and Prince William County is the most important county there. Romney needs to win the county to win Virginia. George W. Bush and Bob McDonnell were able to win the county rather solidly. There has been an influx of immigrants in the past decade, and as a consequence it has a somewhat more Democratic lean than before. This will also be a good check to see if the Romney and Obama campaigns’ assumptions about the demographics of the electorate are correct.

Lake County, OH
This is the closest county in the most important state. Lake County is the eastern suburbs of Cleveland and the best gauge for how the entire state will vote. In 2004, Bush won the county by the same margin as he won the state. Obama ran a bit worse than his state percentages in 2008 but was able to win.  Watching Lake County is the best shortcut for projecting Ohio results on election night.

Bucks County, PA
In the critical suburban Philadelphia area, Chester County is most likely going for Romney and Montgomery and Delaware Counties will go for Obama. The swingiest of them all is Bucks County, north of Philadelphia.  Monday’s Romney rally that garnered some 30,000 supporters was held here for exactly that reason. In 2004, Bucks went for John Kerry by three percentage points, the exact same margin as the rest of the state. It has trended right in the past few years, as Republican Pat Toomey won the county 53 percent to 47 percent in his 2010 Senate race. Romney has to keep the margins close in suburban Philadelphia, and he has to win Bucks to do so.

Jefferson County, CO
In a heavily polarized state, the Denver suburbs hold the balance of power. Jefferson County, along with its suburban neighbors, voted for Bush in 2004 by small margins and then flipped to Obama in 2008. Romney had one of his most memorable campaign rallies at Red Rocks Amphitheater, which is in Jefferson County. Whichever candidate wins this county is going to win Colorado.

Washoe County, NV
The dynamic of Nevada politics is Democratic Clark County against Republican outstate areas, with Reno in the middle. For Romney to win Nevada, he has to win Washoe County. In 2004 and 2008, it matched the state percentages for Bush and Obama. A win here doesn’t guarantee Romney a victory in Nevada, but it is a necessary component.

Racine County, WI
Racine County is slightly more Republican than Wisconsin as a whole. Bush narrowly won it in 2004, while he barely lost the state overall.  Even so, anything more than a narrow Romney victory would augur well for him in a county that is a representative blend of urban, suburban and rural areas. It’s also worth watching due to the potential gains in Southern Wisconsin that could accrue with Paul Ryan, their congressman on the ticket. The potential for adding independents and some Democrats, who have voted for Ryan for years, to the Romney column could be decisive in a close state.

Oakland County, MI
The county that Mitt Romney grew up in is worth watching for a few reasons. First, if Romney wants to pull an upset in Michigan, he must win Oakland County. Second, it is precisely the sort of northern affluent suburb Republicans have had problems with at the presidential level for the past 20 years. Gains here would be indicative of Romney strength in other affluent suburbs in key states and a significant difference between a winning Romney coalition and the previous winning coalition that George W. Bush assembled.

Electoral Vote Prediction: What Will Happen Tomorrow?

About one week after this blog began its 5+ month odyssey (when I still could not walk and ate pain killers like they were candy) I wrote: “If the poll shows the Democrat with a slight lead, it’s tied.  If the poll shows the race tied, the Republican is winning.  And if the poll shows the Republican winning? well then the race is over.”

Sadly I thought by this point Romney would be up a point or two in the polls and could confidently predict a 330 electoral vote win. But Hurricane Sandy changed the dynamic of the race.  President Obama was “Presidential” for once and appeared in a bi-partisan light with a great assist from Chris Christie. Had his first term been more bi-partisan like he showed during the Hurricane he would have a far better shot at re-election. But his recent political deathbed conversion runs contrary to what this country has lived through over the last four years.  The most divisive President since the disgraced Richard Nixon can give a good speech and wears the genial veneer of a uniter, but his four-year record of division has left the country worse off from his choices.

You can’t swing a dead cat today without hitting a national poll showing the race a dead heat between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. But the polling today and political commentary reminds me so much of two mid-term elections: 1994 and 2010 — admittedly non-Presidential years.  The press consensus was a “status quo” election in 1994 while they mocked firebrands who were talking about a revolution. The result was historic drubbings in the House and Senate flipping control of both to Republicans. The same press more recently tried the same dodge in 2010 focusing on likely Republican failures Christine O’Donnell and Sharon Angle rather than the transformative Republicans like Kristi Noem, Tim Scott, Ron Johnson and Marco Rubio. The arrogant Obama consoled Democrats ahead of this mid-term saying the difference between 1994 and 2010 was that this time they had him. Of course Republicans famously delivered a “shellacking” at the voting booth.  My favorite gawd-awful pollster, Marist, had the Congressional race dead even ahead of the greatest drubbing ever. As the Washington Examiner’s Michael Barone wrote “you could argue that this is the best Republican showing ever.” Rather odd they seem to always underestimate Republican performance, don’t you think?

Today the press write 50 stories on Missouri’s Todd Akin and barely acknowledge Nebraska’s Deb Fischer.  If Fischer were a Democrat, the upstart Senator-in-waiting would be paraded around Sunday talk-shows like Cleopatra but you see nary a passing mention of Fischer taking down the formidable Bob Kerrey.  The Tea Party of 2010 was misrepresented, relentlessly smeared with false accusations of racist behavior and ultimately dismissed by the press until they kicked the door in. Instead of trying to coalesce into a national movement  they retrenched locally and have been planting the political mustard seeds in Battleground districts across this country.  You already see the fruits of their labors in the great voter registration changes and early voting of low-propensity Republicans. They don’t talk big or preen for the cameras, they just go about their business changing the entire dynamic of American politics. Today’s polls capture none of this and represent an electorate much the same as the dynamic 2008 Democrat wave when there is no evidence to support such enthusiasm or turnout.

Democrats still have to explain away Obama and his plan for the future because he has yet to offer one. The national polls say despite his poor first term record and lack of a second term agenda he is tied nationally but more importantly leading among the Battleground State polls. But as Bob Krumm writes: “The last two times that a Republican challenged a Democratic incumbent (1996 and 1980) the polls overestimated Democratic support by 5.1 and 7.2 points.  And ‘96 was not even in bad economic times.”  (h/t @JohnEkdahl). Add to that the majority of this blog relentlessly focused on breaking down state poll internals demonstrating time and again those same polls were over-representing Democrat voters and misrepresenting the various state electorates. When you combine these two, the reality is that yes, the polls are wrong and this is not a new phenomenon. The major difference in this election is the sheer volume and relentless use of these polls as political advocacy for a preferred candidate.

In those same polls Mitt Romney has consistently led by double digits among Independent voters while locking down Republican partisans. But Independents are not always the greatest indicator in Presidential elections. John Kerry won Independents nationally by ~1% and by double digits in Ohio ~19 points and still lost the election by 3 points. and Ohio by 2-points.  It is this statistic Democrats cling to while Republicans, including myself, scoff at tied polls with Romney leading with Independents by 20-points. George Bush overcame that Independent deficit because he had a historic turnout of Republicans that had never been seen before. Barack Obama also achieved a historic partisan advantage for modern elections in the 2008 turnout but also carried Independents by 8-points and won overall by 7-points. In 2012 his entire re-election is staked on achieving this again but under far less advantageous circumstances. The greatest difference between 2004 and 2012 is George Bush had a passionate following on the most prominent issue of the day–national security–while today Obama is at his weakest on the most prominent issue of the day–the economy–with passion inspired only in the cult of Obama. This is why Obama is so consistently capped at 47 or 48% in nearly every poll. His impassioned followers won’t abandon him but he attracts few others.

This means the only way Obama wins is a turnout superior to his historic 2008 election when his greatest assets, insurmountable early voting leads and enthusiasm unparalleled in American history, are absent. Maybe he’ll pull it off, but the evidence says he will not. Mitt Romney has run a competent campaign and caught fire in the first debate when President Obama’s lack of vision stood in stark contrast to the energized and vibrant Romney. Since that juncture the enthusiasm, initiative and momentum have all been on one side of the contest.  Today the Romney ground game does no worse than match the vaunted Obama ground game with evidence that Team Obama is desperately robbing Peter (cannibalizing election day high propensity voters) to pay Paul (boost weak early voting).

If political directors at ABC, NBC and CBS were told 6-months ago President Obama’s final days would be spent defending Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin (to crowds far smaller than even John Kerry) while Romney is drawing 30k in Philadelphia suburbs in near unanimity they would conclude Obama is losing the race. Today states like Minnesota, Michigan and Pennsylvania show up in political discussions the way Indiana and North Carolina were in 2008. It doesn’t take much more to know which way the wind is blowing. The Obama campaign’s ground game is a strong operation and plenty of states will be won by less than 1% of the vote, much like 2000 and 2004 so his ability to pull of an election night surprise should not be underestimated. But too many fundamental problems exist for Obama: stubbornly awful economy, eroding trust on foreign policy, formidable opponent, enthusiastic opposition and potentially fatal concerns with the turnout of key demographics (Hispanics and youth) for him to likely win tomorrow.

All of this adds up to the following states falling into Romney’s column: Florida, Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Minnesota. The only rain on Romney’s parade is his inability to carry his “home state” of Michigan but it will be close. The billions in tax-payer losses on the auto bailout at least bought Obama something.

Final electoral prediction, Romney 331, Obama 207. I guess the fundamentals of the race overwhelmed even Hurricane Sandy.


Special thanks to Matt Margolis at Blogs4Victory for the map.

GOTV Raw Meat for the Converted

Here is the memo from the RNC’s Rick Wiley on tomorrow’s Get Out the Vote designed to bury the Obama machine

Enjoy:

[W]e are poised to blow the Obama campaign out on Election Day thanks to a superior GOTV program and a historical GOP Election Day advantage In the four party-registration states (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada), we are poised to win the Election Day vote by even greater margins than we did in 2008. That’s right, Jeremy Bird, we beat you on Election Day even in 2008. This time around we have over 150,000 volunteers across the battleground who have already contacted over 53 million voters and expect to contact millions more from now until the polls close tomorrow night.

Who is the cannibal?

In Colorado there are over 26,000 (34%) more high-propensity Republican voters available than high-propensity Democrat voters. In Florida there are 166,000 (21%) more; 85,000 (47%) more in Iowa; and 16,000 (22%) more in Nevada.

And in Ohio, Republicans have 368,000 more high-propensity voters available than Democrats–72 percent more, in fact–and enough to off-set the Obama campaign’s most optimistic (and unrealistic) early vote math.

Field Office trash talk

The Obama campaign’s superior ground game is a myth. They claim they have double and triple the people and offices across the country, yet poll after poll has shown voters have been contacted equally if not more by the Romney campaign and the Republicans. It goes to show you what big government bureaucracy gets you.

I’m glad Democrats are so eager to talk about their ground game. The more they talk, the more they prove the numbers don’t add up. It’s (ground) game over.

Republicans Erase Obama Early Vote Advantage

Apologies to everyone, but I’m working remotely (again).  The lower Manhattan Verizon network is down so my home computer is useless. Even my much delayed wrap up of Clark County, Nevada is on hold.  Thankfully the below write-up by Rick Klein gives the macro view from Nevada which is very good for the GOP although I believe all parties were hopeful for an even better showing. Early voting was Obama’s real secret weapon in 2008 but in state after state that advantage is getting wiped away making election day all the more precarious to his re-election chances.  Our own David Ramos has done an amazing job breaking down ColoradoRick Klein takes a look at Nevada and Florida and other Battlegrounds as we inch closer to November 6 …. one more day! … one more day! … one more day!

Nevada

Take a look at the key battleground state of Nevada, for example, where early and absentee voting made up about 67 percent of the total votes cast in the state in 2008. Democrats outperformed Republicans in early voting that year by a little less than 12 percentage points, 47.6 percent of the early votes cast came from registered Democrats, while 35.8 percent came from registered Republicans. This year, that gap has narrowed to roughly 7 points, with registered Democrats accounting for 43.9 percent of the votes cast already, and Republicans making up 37 percent, according to figures from the United States Election Project.

Florida

In Florida in 2008, registered Democrats cast 44.9 percent of the early votes, while registered Republicans only cast 37.9 percent. This year, that gap is down as well. Registered Democrats have accounted for 42.6 percent of the early vote, registered Republicans 39.5 percent.

Nationwide

Across the board, in 2008, Democrats held an 11 percentage point advantage over Republicans going into Election Day in the battleground states where party registration was available, but this year, that gap has been cut down to about a6 point advantage, according to one GOP official.

To cannibal or not to cannibal

One of the reasons for Republican gains in early voting has to do with an improved get-out-the-vote operation (commonly referred to as “GOTV”) from 2008. In 2008, Republicans had a weaker operation than Democrats. This year, Republicans amped up their game, targeting “low-propensity” voters, or people who, when they vote, vote Republican, but have not consistently turned out in elections. “If you live in Ohio and Iowa, for example, and you’re a low-propensity Republican voter, you voted in a primary or you’re registered Republicans but you’ve missed some, what you’re going to get form the Romney campaign and the RNC is somebody coming to your door with an absentee ballot, you’re going to get mail that has absentee-ballot request forms,” Republican National Committee  spokesman Tim Miller said.

Minding the gap doesn’t mean victory

From a simple mathematical standpoint, however, Democrats are ahead in the vote count in four out of the five battleground states that offer in-person early voting and register voters by a political party: Nevada, Iowa, Florida and North Carolina.

Firewall lacks clarity

The key Midwestern states that permit in-person early voting – Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin – do not register by party affiliation, so it is impossible to make any definitive statement about which party is ahead in the vote count. Those three states have been identified as a kind of Electoral College firewall for Obama that offers him a path to 270 electoral votes even if he loses in all of the other battleground states

Does This Mean I’ve Made It? The Jon Ralston Edition

Jon Ralston was on one of his often hyper-partisan twitter rants insulting Republicans calling them hacks for complaining over voter fraud as if it doesn’t exits.

Ralston’s tweet:

Jon Ralston ‏@RalstonReports   I can’t believe that’s even a story about “swirling speculations” of voter fraud. Swirling speculations by GOP hacks only. Zero evidence.

So I decided to remind him what an ass he was being:

To argue my case for me Ralston sends me the following private message and blocks me on Twitter:

Quod erat demonstrandum.

Something tells me he’s more than a bit temperamental because the lies he told at the beginning of early voting are coming back to haunt him and Nevada may not be as safe as he relentlessly professed.

Senator Sharon Angle Agrees With Nate Silver: Barack Obama has an 84% Chance of Winning

Nate Silver has his usual spin on outrageously absurd election outcome odds:

President Obama is now better than a 4-in-5 favorite to win the Electoral College, according to the FiveThirtyEight forecast. His chances of winning it increased to 83.7 percent on Friday, his highest figure since the Denver debate and improved from 80.8 percent on Thursday.

He shows a bunch of polls from a murder’s row of bad polling where Obama is leading and maps out three arguments where they could be wrong.  After arguing and dismissing the first two he concludes:

That leaves only the final source of polling error, which is the potential that the polls might simply have been wrong all along because of statistical bias.

You don’t say!

The FiveThirtyEight forecast accounts for this possibility…I do not mean to imply that the polls are biased in Mr. Obama’s favor. But there is the chance that they could be biased in either direction…My argument, rather, is this: we’ve about reached the point where if Mr. Romney wins, it can only be because the polls have been biased against him. Almost all of the chance that Mr. Romney has in the FiveThirtyEight forecast, about 16 percent to win the Electoral College, reflects this possibility.

Silver makes such pronouncements with outlandish statistical weights as if it is nearly unbelievable that the poll results could be wrong.  One of the main purposes of this blog was to look at the exact same polls, analyze the internal data and test whether the poll data match up with the poll results.  We found that time after time after time the results unequivocally do not match up with the internal data.  Thanks to Sean Davis, we are reminded this was the identical situation only 2 years ago is probably the highest profile race where a deeply unpopular Senate Majority leader was behind in nearly every poll yet still won.

Out of 14 polls between October 1 and election day, Sharon Angle led in 12 of those polls.  Her average lead on election day according to Real Clear Politics was +2.6.  She lost by -5.6 points — an 8.2 point swing.  The polls were not just wrong, but WAY wrong.  Could anyone analyzing the internals of these polls see this?  Why yes they could. But even in the highest profile contest of the cycle, almost no one did such an analysis. The few who did, Democrat pollster Mark Mellman, Republican pollster Glen Bolger and liberal reporter/columnist Jon Ralston, all consistently said the polls were wrong — and each was largely ignored until proven correct on election day.  Why did they know this?  Because they looked at the data in the polls and said the internal information does not reflect the top-line results and the Nevada electorate on election day will not reflect what these polls are indicating. They were right and the polls were wrong … by A LOT.

Today we have an identical dichotomy where the stat gurus like Nate Silver say Obama has an 84% chance of winning because that is what the top-line poll numbers tell him.  Nate Silver called the Nevada Senate race incorrectly because the poll data was wrong.  His accuracy is predicated on accurate polls.  Mountains of evidence says today’s Presidential polls are equally as wrong as the Nevada Senate polls.

Critics of the polls on the Right, like myself, of whom even Silver concedes offer “intellectually coherent” critiques say the results on November 6 will be very different. Maybe Nate Silver is correct and Barack Obama will be re-elected President on November 6.  But any analysis of the data in those same state polls he relies on says the voting preference of Independents, the increased turnout of Republicans, the decreased turnout of Democrats, the change in favor of Republicans in early voting, Romney’s favorability on the election’s top issue (economy) and numerous other factors will result in President Romney on November 6.  United States Senator Sharon Angle from Nevada may disagree.

Washoe County Final Day Closes Strong, GOP Ahead by a Nose

In a nearly dead even final day, the GOP cast five more ballots than the Democrats in Washoe County. Total ballots cast were 14,234 by far the largest of the cycle as expected. Republicans cast 5348 while Democrats cast 5343. The Independent/Other category definitely made their presence felt casting 3543 ballots. With this being the final day it seems more instructive to look at the aggregate totals and compare them to the 2008 results.  Although Democrats carried the in-person early vote by 641 ballots, most everything else about this performance was bad news.  Of the three groups only the Democrats had a lower turnout than 2008 bolstering the argument of reduced enthusiasm for the party. At the same time their differential over Republicans was 11,337 fewer than the 2008 margin. Republicans increased their ballots cast 8485 and 4.5pp of the overall total. The Independent/Other segment increased its vote total 4270 ballots and 2.3pp of the overall total.  As was the trend throughout the early voting, the increased Independent/Other vote may well be the deciding factor in Washoe County and the state as a whole. Republicans still lead in the aggregate early voting count thanks to absentee voting and mail-in ballots although they had hoped to add to this lead by greater performances from in-person balllots.

Contrast between 2012 and 2008 in-person early voting

2012 Final Tally 2008 Final Tally
Dem – 45043 (40.4%) Dem – 47895 (47.1%)
GOP -44402 (39.8%) GOP – 35917 (35.3%)
NP – 22062 (19.8%) NP – 17792 (17.5%)

Overall we see that 2012 had little relation to 2008 in that the competition was far stiffer this time around with Republicans giving as good as they were getting. Although hopes for a Washoe win from in-person voting were dashed due to strong late performances by Democrats, the full cycle performance was stellar especially when contrasted to a woeful 2008.

2012 Early Vote Trendlines by Party

2008 Early Vote Trendlines by Party

Democrats Not Going Down Without a Fight in Clark County Early Voting

To be the champ you have to beat the champ and if Republicans win in Nevada they will have earned it. Democrat enthusiasm may not be what was statewide in 2008 but the Clark County machine is getting the job done for Democrats.  The trend is not the friend of Republicans right now but the biggest day of early voting is still left. Questions will remain unknown until election day regarding cannibalizing high propensity voters but thus far Democrats have answered the bell in Clark County early voting.  On Thursday Democrats cast 15,675 ballots compared to Republicans who cast 9979 ballots for a 5696 net gain. These types of wins are a big deal for Democrats because they are underperforming everywhere else in the state.  The Independent/Other vote held pace with the Thursday upswing casting 6956 ballots.  Overall there was a 16% day-over-day increase in activity.  With Democrats performing strongly, albeit below their 2008 margin, winning the Independent vote grows increasingly important in Clark County and across the state.

 

 

Another Day, Another Washoe County Win for Republicans in Early Voting

For the fourth consecutive day Republicans outpaced Democrats in Washoe County in-person early voting.  Republicans cast 3613 votes for a 39.4% share while Democrats cast 3429 ballots for a 37.4%.  The expected Thursday ramp-up increased turnout 19% over the Thursday result with 9162 ballots cast. Republicans now trail in-person early voting by 646 ballots. But the net gain of 184 ballots extends Republicans overall lead with the combined absentee and mail-in early ballots.  The aggregate Washoe lead now stands at 375 more ballots cast by Republicans than Democrats, a far cry from the 12k advantage Democrats enjoyed in 2008.  Washoe’s going red people … get used to it.  If Romney is winning a majority of the Independent vote and the Clark GOP keeps its close . . .

Big contrast in the running tallies

2012 thru Day 12 2008 Through Day 12
Dem – 39700 (40.9%) Dem – 43357 (47.86%)
GOP – 39054 (40.3%)
GOP – 31711 (34.99%)
NP – 18202 (18.8%) NP – 15570 (17.18%)

We see the election over election change in Democrat turnout is down -3657 ballots while the change in GOP turnout is up +7343, a net 11,000 gain for the GOP versus 2008. The enthusiasm gap continues to grow in Washoe County and Democrats are on the run in Reno. Having erased Obama’s early vote advantage, this type of swing will go a long way to erasing Obama’s overall ~23k vote Washoe County win in 2008, half of which came from the early vote.

Clark County Wednesday Early Vote — Last Gasp for Democrats?

Democrats have long been expected to win Clark County early voting by large margins.  The story of early voting thus far has been unexpected reduced enthusiasm among Democrats, Republicans resurgence off low 2008 totals and the rise of Indepedent/Other party support.  The Wednesday early vote appeared to be Democrats last chance to bury the GOP in all-important Clark County and that didn’t happen.

Ahead of the vote, one hell of a source whispered in my ear: The locations Wednesday rotate into some bad areas for Republicans but some decent ones back on Thurs and Friday.  If the GOP can hold the Obama campaign to a spread of between 5000-6000 tomorrow the GOP should look pretty good going into the final early voting days.

Well, yesterday’s margin was 4159, well below the expected blood-bath and below the “good” level locals were hoping for.  So great job to Team Nevada and now get after it these last two days.  Overall Democrats cast 13083 ballots only 88% the 2012 weekday average.  Republicans cast 8924 ballots, 90% of the 2012 weekday average.  And Independents/Other cast 6017 ballots, 105% of the 2012 weekday average.  Thursday and Friday are expected to be the big turnout days in early voting although there may have been some early pull-forward of ballots this cycle.

2012 thru Day 12 2008 Through Day 12
Dem – 171368 (48.16%) Dem – 163777 (52.98%)
GOP -116991 (32.88%) GOP – 93014 (30.09%)
NP – 67487 (18.97%) NP – 52341 (16.93%)

We see the election over election change in Democrat turnout is barely above the 2008 turnout +7591 and dropping daily. The change in GOP turnout is UP +23,988, a net 16,386 gain for the GOP versus 2008.

Breaking Down the Campaign Travel Math

Jame Dupree of the Atlanta Journal Constitution breaks down the final campaign stops for both candidates and looks for insights based on where they are going and maybe more importantly where they are not. This is a time to sure up your base support to make sure the people you need to show up remain engaged.  At the same time you will push the envelope only within the context of 270 electoral votes not 300 so the fringe Battlegrounds absence is less surprising:

The President’s schedule over the next four days will take him to Ohio on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, twice to Wisconsin and Colorado and once to Nevada, Iowa, New Hampshire, Virginia and Florida. Meanwhile, Romney’s schedule has him making stops in Virginia, Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and twice in New Hampshire; both men still have a few holes left to fill in their schedule before Election Day.

The first thing that jumped out at me was the President is spread fairly thinly across 8 states while Romney is comparatively focused on 6 states. Does that mean the President is vulnerable in more areas so he has to play defense across the country?  Or does that mean Romney has fewer paths to victory?  We’ll see.  Here’s Dupree:

Ohio is getting the most attention by far of any state, as the President will be there Friday, Saturday and Sunday; Romney will be there at least on Friday. Colorado, Iowa and Wisconsin will also get visits from each candidate. Romney will stop Saturday in New Hampshire and is scheduled to hold a final rally the night before the elections in Manchester next Monday, as the four Electoral Votes in the Granite State are getting a lot of attention from both sides.

No surprise Ohio has both campaign’s full attention. The incredible investment by Obama in Ohio shows they know they lose without the state and the internals don’t match the farcical public polls. To be honest that level of investment seems to indicate they may actually be losing the state at this juncture. New Hampshire getting two visits from Romney in interesting.  Romney must see some favorable movement in those four electoral votes to give him reason to double down in these final days.

Maybe more telling the Battlegrounds where they are not going:

As of now, Romney may not be going back to Florida, the largest swing state prize – the President is slated to make only one stop in the Sunshine State, Fort Lauderdale on Sunday; South Florida was where Mr. Obama ran up big margins in 2008 against John McCain.

Clearly Romney is comfortable in Florida to leave it off the schedule. This is a big deal. His campaign did some chest thumping about a double-digit win and while that seemed a bit high to be I’d expect a solid win in the state for Romney.

Also, Romney at this point is not going to Nevada, a state that seems to be leaning towards the Democrats again this year, despite its swing state status.

This one is interesting.  Romney doesn’t need the state but he certainly invested in the state.  Obama is playing defense there which is smart.  Early voting is not nearly as strong for Obama a they had hoped but he still seems to have the edge overall in the state. Senator Dean Heller is running a great campaign for re-election there against a deeply unethical opponent  and his margin of victory may help drag Romney across the finish line in the Silver State.

Not on the travel log for either Romney or Obama right now are states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina and/or Minnesota – all of which have been mentioned a lot in recent days as possible pickups for Republicans.

For any student of campaigns, these should come as no surprise.  Neither campaign needs them to get to 270 so while they may fall to either campaign in a late breaking wave, campaign resources are focused at this juncture on 270 and 270 only.  No matter whether your number is 271 or 351, they still call you President all the same.  It’s smart campaign strategy.

This is the schedule – subject to change – for each candidate in coming days:

Thursday November 1
Obama: Wisconsin, Nevada, Colorado
Romney: Virginia

Friday November 2
Obama: Ohio
Romney: Wisconsin, Ohio

Saturday November 3
Obama: Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Virginia
Romney: New Hamphshire, Colorado

Sunday November 4
Obama: New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Colorado
Romney: n/a

Monday November 5
Obama: n/a
Romney: final rally in New Hampshire

Expect changes and additions to this schedule as we get closer to Election Day.

UPDATE: kostby in the comment section did the analysis I should have.  I’m trying to get on those Marist polls (who doesn’t enjoy a good game of “whack-a-poll” on the morining?) but if you look at kostby’s analysis within the Karl Rove 3-2-1 context you have to feel really good about his chances. 3: Indiana (done), North Carolina (done), Virginia (virtually done). 2: Florida (done) and Ohio (all the marbles). 1: Colorado (strongest play), New Hampshire, Iowa, Wisconsin all better bets than Nevada. You have to like Romney’s chances looking at the travel schedule with that context.  Thanks to kostby for inspiring the additional analysis.

I look at Romney’s schedule like this.

He needs NC, FL, VA, Ohio + one of Colorado, NH, WI, or Iowa. NC and FL are in the bag. So you hit VA once even though the polling is good. The one last visit gets you local TV coverage and excites your campaign workers. Ohio is the whole enchilada so you hit it hard even IF you are winning. Then you hit Wisconsin because you can win it to improve your mandate, but also because it is key to alternate paths if Ohio doesn’t work out.

Assuming NC, Fl, and VA are already in the bag for Romney then you have these alternatives to win:

Alternative 1 — Ohio + any one of CO, NH, IA, WI
Alternative 2 — WI + CO + either NH or IA
Alternative 3 — CO, NH, IA, and NV

I’m starting to feel like it’s going to be: OH, CO, WI, IA, NH as well. That would put Romney at 295.

Three-in-a-Row in Washoe County for Team Nevada

Another strong day for the GOP up north casting 3128 ballots compared to 2841 for the Democrats.  Total ballots cast were 7679, down about 1300 day-over-day supporting the evolving story that the expected second week blow-out was not in the cards after the strong first week performance. Despite the muted second week performance thus far the final two days should will almost certainly see a nice pick-up in activity.  Most concerning is the Democrats performance since this is their strength and enthusiasm questions continue to mount.  Although in my count, today’s net gain for the GOP only shrinks the Democrat lead to 830 for in-person early voting, this net gain nearly erases the overall lead Democrats held going into today when including absentee and mail-in ballots.  An all-around great day for Team Nevada in Washoe County.

Big contrast in the running tallies

2012 thru Day 12 2008 Through Day 12
Dem – 36271 (41.3%) Dem – 38329 (48.89%)
GOP -35441 (40.3%) GOP – 26913 (34.37%)
NP – 16082 (18.3%) NP – 13161 (16.79%)

We see the election over election change in Democrat turnout is DOWN -2058 while the change in GOP turnout is UP +8528, a net 10,586 gain for the GOP versus 2008. Do you know what an enthusiasm gap looks like? Well now you do. Having erased Obama’s early vote advantage, this type of swing will go a long way to erasing Obama’s overall ~23k vote Washoe County win in 2008, half of which came from the early vote.

Democrats Rebound in Tuesday Early Voting in Clark County

Week 2 early voting in Clark County continues to tell very different stories.  Estimates on the large pick up in early voting have mostly proved to be unfounded.  Democrats, the regular leaders in this area, have failed to even match their weekday average in either of the first two days. And Republicans came out of the gate flying but settled back to only slightly outperform the prior week’s average turnout.  Overall turnout is only marginally higher than the first week average giving rise to concerns that Democrats lack enthusiasm and Republicans may have cannibalized some early votes during their week 1 pick-up.  Today should be of great interest.  The early voting sites change locations around the state and Democrats have en enormous advantage today.  If they do not annihilate Republicans in this last big opportunity for them Thursday and Friday could be Republican turn-out efforts we’ve never seen before.  On the day, Democrats cast 13,002 ballots and Republicans cast 10,100 ballots for a 2898 net gain. The Independent/Other group continued their steady march upward garnering 20.7% of the overall ballots cast.

Under-reported on this site is the combination of absentee ballots and early voting elsewhere in the state.  Absent Hurricane Sandy, I fully intended to incorporate those results to give a better state-wide picture.  But lacking my original models and a host of other data, it has become too much to recreate with everything else going on (like rotating between the 2 sets of clothes I am living out of…good times).  That said, there is plenty of important information in the aggregate data such as the spread between the two parties in overall ballots cast state-wide is only 6% in favor of the Democrats far less than their lead in 2008.

Release the Kraken: Romney campaign to hit the road with 100 surrogates

There are only 6 days left to campaign and following the Hurricane Sandy pause Team Romney is gearing up for a final push to close out the cycle that would dwarf any prior campaign’s effort.  According to CNN, Team Romney will hit 11-states with all-stars from the GOP’s deep bench, Colorado, Ohio, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin:

Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, will kick off a four-day tour starting Friday, where they’ll be joined by their wives and 100 surrogates in the final days of the White House race, his campaign announced Wednesday.

The tour starts off with a rally in West Chester, Ohio, the hometown of House Speaker John Boehner. Aside from Boehner, featured guests that day include former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Boehner will depart on his own bus tour in Ohio from Saturday to Monday.

In the four days before Election Day, the surrogates will fan out across eleven battleground states: Colorado, Ohio, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

A campaign source confirmed that Romney will be at the Verizon Center in Manchester, New Hampshire on Monday night, and Kid Rock will perform, as well.

On Wednesday, Romney and Ryan resume the campaign trail after canceling some events due to conditions related to Superstorm Sandy. Romney will travel to Florida for three campaign events, where he’ll appear with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Senate candidate Connie Mack. Ryan, meanwhile, will make stops in Wisconsin.

Another Solid Washoe Early Voting Win for Republicans

For the second straight day during the most important time of early voting, Republicans notch another victory expanding on yesterday’s win.  In Tuesday early voting Republicans cast 3700 ballots versus Democrats 3360, a 340 ballot margin. Aggregate ballots cast were 120% the 2012 weekday reflecting the expected week 2 turnout, unlike Monday.

Other than the odd spike on Sunday (the lowest turnout day of 2012), the contest has been largely evenly matched after the typical strong start by the Democrats.  Early voting has been a back and forth battle in Washoe County but during the most important time period Republicans have greatly stepped up their game. The Independent/Other turnout remains an important segment in the 2012 early voting and remains the great unknown whether they will fall to Romney or Obama. The strong reversal in Republican fortunes the last two days show has increased the growth rate of Republican turnout versus Democrat turnout to 3.2% versus the models 2% heading into this week.We are working without our models for now (I’d ask for a Hurricane Sandy exemption) but between the turnout below expectations thus far and the increased growth rate, Republicans are poised to meaningfully turn the tides on Democrats in Washoe early voting this year. The gains of the last two days continue to eat into the Democrats ballot advantage that stands as 1117 ballots.

 

 

Strong Monday Early Voting for GOP in Washoe and Clark Counties

Washoe County (thanks to Paul8148 for the data)

A Washoe County win for the GOP casting 2859 ballots versus 2705 for Democrats achieving a net 164 ballot gain. This is huge for the GOP as they needed to reverse the slide in Washoe and they did so with gusto. The overall turnout was below our expectations but that is more concerning for Democrats as questions regarding voter enthusiasm have continued to creep into their early vote results.

Clark County (thanks to vnClark for the data)

The gap in all-important Clark County narrowed dramatically on Monday with Democrats casting 14,113 ballots and Republicans casting Republicans 12,492 — by far the best comparative for Republicans in 2008 or 2008. This performance compressed the % contribution to 42.8% for Democrats and 37.9% for Republicans.  The two day move for Republicans is fantastic news for Team Nevada and bodes well during this big final week of early voting. The turnout was below our model’s expectation but the steep climb from Republicans would give a strong boost to expected growth that we will update after Tuesday’s numbers.

Charts expected later.

Clark County Sunday Early Voting Keeps It Interesting

Sunday is understandably  a slow day in early voting so today’s low results are not a big shock but the trends in Clark County get more intriguing by the day.  Democrats cast 11,248 ballots while Republicans cast 8272, for a 2976 ballot advantage.  As it stands Democrats have a 45,675 advantage in partisan ballots cast in 2012, down from 56,298  at the same point in 2008 — a -10,623 election-over-election reduction.  Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the Sunday results is that for the first time this year in Clark County, the Democrats had a lower turnout than the comparable day in 2008 — a seriously bad sign is this all-important County.  The trend line for the Democrats (added below) is troubling as well. While Republicans slowly but steadily are picking up their pace of the overall turnout, the Democrats continue to drop with reasonable consistency.  This is all the more ominous considering the turnout in Clark County next week is expected to increase by as much as 40% more than the average daily weekday turnout in 2012. If Democrat turnout continues this slide or has more days under-performing its 2008 results, Republicans could see dramatic swings in the ballot differential heading into election day.  The other area of concern is the continued pickup in the Independent/Other category. Sunday’s steep fall-off of Democrats was met by continued gains in this group. The increased contribution from the Independent/Other category is one of the hidden stories in Nevada early voting so we will watch it closely:

NOTE: This is an updated chart. Thanks to nvClark and  rcl_in_vain the comments for catching some data issues.

The Clark County model

Consistent with what we wrote for Washoe County, we are going to administer some “final” tweaks to the Clark model.  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 (14,817) 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 (22,862) and daily 2nd week gross turnout (Mon: 134%, Tues: 140%, Wed: 155%, Thur: 168%, Fri: 195%). With dramatic increases in turnout crescendoing 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, unlike in Washoe, has held relatively stable and stands at +2.7% reflecting the current day-over-day rate in 2012. Increases in this area can have sizable impacts on the final results so we will cautiously adjust this as needed. With these new assumptions, the model expects the Democrats to end early voting with a  66,685 advantage in ballots cast — down from 83,633 in 2008.

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.

Clark and Washoe Counties Saturday Early Voting Holds Steady

So much news going on today it’s been tough to keep up with everything.  Lucky for you guys the Jets are the 1pm game and I switched out of using them as my knockout pool pick so I can catch up on Nevada early voting.  I’ll keep it brief since I’m tweaking the model after today’s numbers come in and the new Washoe model nailed the Democrats # for Saturday although only I know that :).

The takeaway for both counties is two-fold.

First Republicans are keeping pace with their performance relative to Democrats this year whereas in 2008 Republicans steadily gained throughout the early voting. The Republicans started out at a much higher base in early voting versus 2008 so this is by no means disastrous.  But if Republicans were going to meaningfully put Obama’s chances of winning Nevada in peril before election day we would like to have seen steady improvement throughout the first week. As we reported earlier, the numbers in Clark County are expected to move in the GOP’s direction starting Monday as the early voting booths which rotate in location move to more Republican-friendly locales so we’ll watch for that closely.

Second, the Independent vote continues to contribute a greater percentage of the overall early voting.  This may be the more surprising development among all the early voting stories.  If Mitt Romney is winning this group by the large margins showing up in recent polling, this may more than make up any deficits among the early ballots cast.  We’ll be watching Independent polling closely to see how this plays out.

Clark County Saturday October 27 early voting:

Democrats cast 14422 ballot on Saturday, almost exactly as our model expected.  Republicans cast 9655 ballots or 67% of the Democrat vote which was below our expectations. The aggregate lead for Democrats is 42,699 approximately -10,000 less than in 2008 at the same juncture.

Washoe County Saturday October 27 early voting:

Democrats cast 2991 early ballots on Saturday versus Republicans who cast 2833 ballots or only 95% of the Democrats total which was below our expectations.  Overall Democrats lead by 1198 ballots cast, approximately -7000 fewer than the 9093 lead they enjoyed at this point in 2008.

Clark County Day 7 Early Vote: Republicans Strike Back

The Clark County early vote story continues to drive intrigue in Nevada.  The Obama campaign would love to put the state out of reach but Team Nevada answered the challenge on Friday with the Republican’s best turnout relative to the total early vote of any day over the last two elections.  Democrats cast 13,862 ballots versus Republicans  who cast 10,161. The Republican’s relative percentage of the Democrat’s vote was 73% — also its best performance over the two elections. Next week will be the big test for both parties but after a few days of nominal declines the GOP turned things around with gusto.  The key will be to continue closing the gap and maintain a rate of growth relative to Democrats that keeps them within striking distance statewide. Independents held their ground reminding both parties there is a sizable chunk of the electorate that can meaningfully alter the outcome of the election while the rest of us focus on party performance. Anecdotal, a Gravis Marketing survey released yesterday had Mitt Romney up 35-points with Independents in Nevada.   Just sayin …

The Clark County model

After a couple days of largely flat to sagging growth, Republicans shot up well past the model’s expectation at 73% versus the model’s 65%.  We won’t change any growth rate until after Sunday’s #s but if they can continue to rise over the weekend, they should be in great shape heading into next week. As a small hint if we adjusted the model to reflect the current growth rate it would shave over 10k off Democrats final margin from yesterday. The weekday average for Democrat turnout was 14,818 only 2.5% greater than our estimate of 14,446.  We will likely use the weekday average as the basis for our estimate of the expected ramp up in turnout next week as that reflects actual 2012 enthusiasm.

The current lead for Democrats in ballots cast stands at 37,935, down -10,366 compared to the same point in 2008. Interestingly when you look at the Republicans dramatically improved early voting pace at Day 9 in 2008 the GOP hit turnout of 211,151 and trailed by 56,298.  This year the GOP hit 211351 on Day 7 and trial by just 37935.  So they have shaved as much 18,363 off the Democrats margin through their dramatically improved performance.

Finally, as I wrote in the Washoe write-up earlier, from my source out west :

Just wanted to update you on Clark’s numbers. We should start seeing movement towards [the GOP] next week. The thing the press doesn’t pick up on is that most of the early vote locations are mobile so they move from supermarket to supermarket, community center to community center for a 1,2 or 3 day period. Starting today and next week we start getting locations in our strong areas so the results should narrow.

Something to keep an eye on going forward.

Washoe Friday (Oct 26) Early Vote, Democrats Cast 21 More Ballots

Give both sides credit for consistency, they are battling it out neck and neck in the early vote in Washoe County. For the second straight day the vote differential was essentially even with Democrats again nosing ahead by a handful of votes.  On the day Democrats cast 2218 ballots and Republicans cast 2197 ballots, 99% of the Democrats total. There was a -35% drop-off from Thursday in the aggregate vote which did not occur in 2008 so I’m wondering if there was a local event or holiday that decreased the turnout.  First snow day in Tahoe?  Free garlic fries at Pluto’s? Where’d everybody go?    The differential between Democrats and Republicans obviously remains about even but the Independent/Other category remains on the march up another 0.2pp.  With each passing day the Independent vote increases in importance especially with Romney racking up gaudy margins among this group around the country.

With even results little changes in the overall picture.  I’ll probably apply some major tweaks to the model over the weekend to more accurately reflect this year’s turnout ahead of next week’s ramp-up into the end of early voting. The aggregate differential is 1040 versus 1019 yesterday and -6900 less than the 7940 differential at the same point 4 years ago.

Washoe Early Vote Finally Posts with Democrats Casting 36 More Ballots

Interesting day in Washoe with the two parties casting almost identical numbers of ballots, Democrats 3431 versus Republicans 3396. For trend watchers this may be disappointing but a Republican turnout at 99% of the Democrat vote is better than any day in 2008. While we would hope for a straight line of continually increasing Republican gains, the reality is it will be an up and down affair (must resist Kate Upton reference) throughout the early voting. Democrats are fairly stable with their turnout while Republicans peaked on Tuesday and have steadily fallen back towards the Democrat’s level. The key will be whether this downward slope is a trend or an aberration. The aggregate ballot lead for Democrats stands at 1019, down from 7161 at the same point in 2008. Similar to what we are seeing in Clark County, the Independent/Other category remains on a slow but steady upward march. This group could be the key in the election if Romney is seeing near the double-digit leads he is enjoying in national polls and some state polling.

The Washoe model

We waited a day to make changes to our assumptions and that was the right call. With the relatively flat day-over-day result the 2012 rate of growth between the Republican turn out and Democrats is 4.1%, higher than our initial estimate of 3.85% that we’ve been using but well off the 7.1% as of yesterday. At the same time the steady Democrat turnout confirms the overestimation of Democrat enthusiasm this cycle so we are adjusting the expected Dem turnout to 3358 from 3985 until the expected ramp-up turnout starting next week. We are modeling the ramp-up as the turnout % relative to the day 1 result but it may be wiser to estimate week two turnout as a percent of the prior week’s average turnout. We’ll think about that over the weekend after we get Friday’s results and tweak accordingly. As it stands with a new growth rate in GOP turnout of 4.1% relative to the Democrats turnout, Republicans would have a final early vote lead in ballots cast of 5793. This compares with a 11,978 ballot advantage Democrats enjoyed heading into election day in 2008.

Finally away from Washoe, I have one hell of a source regarding Clark County early voting:

Just wanted to update you on Clark’s numbers. We should start seeing movement towards [the GOP] next week. The thing the press doesn’t pick up on is that most of the early vote locations are mobile so they move from supermarket to supermarket, community center to community center for a 1,2 or 3 day period. Starting today and next week we start getting locations in our strong areas so the results should narrow.

Something to keep an eye on going forward.

Did I just bury the lede?

Obama +1 in Nevada, Trails by 35 Among Independents — Gravis Marketing

Gravis Marketing has another poll where President Obama leads marginally 50 to 49 in Nevada but is getting slaughtered with Independents.  I don’t know what to say about this poll. It’s all over the place.

Independents

In 2008 Obama won Nevada Independents by 13-points and carried the state by 12-points. In the Gravis poll we have a 48-point swing towards Romney among Independents and this poll is trying to argue Obama would have to win among the pure partisan Democrats and Republicans by 14-points under the 2008 level of Independents?  I’m so incredulous I can’t even come up with an absurd enough Kate Upton scenario to reflect the ridiculousness of this poll.  It does raise the specter of one important factor in the Nevada election. If Mitt Romney is leading with Independents by sizable margins (not even counting this wacky 35-point lead), then that Clark County Democrat advantage is greatly mitigated by both the increase in the Independent vote we are seeing as well as the dramatic swing in Independent support to Romney from Obama.

Party ID

Party ID is D +9 (Dem 45, Rep 36, Ind 19) versus 2008 of D +8 (Dem 38, Rep 30, Ind 26) and 2004 of R +4 (Dem 35, Rep 39, Ind 26). A greater party turnout advantage than 2008 when McCain conceded the state and Obama was campaigning unopposed down the stretch?  Not happening.  Look at the Independent total: 19%?  It’s probably the largest growing segment in Nevada after two straight elections where it was 26%.

Racial Demographics

Nevada is a diverse state but not nearly the make-up Gravis is using in this poll.

  • In 2008 the racial make-up of the Nevada vote was: White 69%, Hispanics 15%, Blacks 10%
  • In the Gravis poll the racial make-up is: White 63%, Hispanics 20%, Blacks 13%

Maybe this will fly in David Axelrod’s delusional demographic make-ups but not in the 2012 actual turnout. The 6pp drop in White vote and 5pp increase in Hispanic vote simply isn’t happening.  In the most generous reasonable scenario Hispanic turnout MAY reach 18%.  I highly doubt that based on the steep drop-off in enthusiasm among this voting bloc, but it’s at least I the discussion.  I have seen n one other than Gravis Marketing and SurveyUSA making up steep drops in the White vote for this election.  As I have shown many times the White turnout in 2008 nationally was artificially low based on nearly 2 million White voters staying home.  This year they are both motivated and enthusiastic so drop-offs like that are leftist fantasy turnouts.

For President Percent
Barack Obama 50
Mitt Romney 49
Undecided 2

Democrats Hold Steady in Clark County Early Voting

Clark County #s are in for Day 6 of early voting in Nevada and Democrats hold serve maintaining a solid lead. Democrats cast 14,969 ballots, a 0.2% day-over-day (dod) increase while Republicans cast 9434 ballots a dod decline of -3.0%.  Independents/Other continue on the march casting 5866 almost exactly equal to the prior day.  Overall the aggregate numbers of ballots cast declined versus Wednesday but both Democrats and Independent increased as a % of the total while Republicans declined.

The trend is most definitely not the friend of Republicans lately. It becomes increasingly important for Team Nevada to reverse this recent slide to keep Clark competitive enough to make up the difference elsewhere. Although it appears Mitt Romney is doing better with Independents, a small victory there won’t be enough if Democrats pull away next week when the turnout increases. As it stands the GOP is still doing dramatically better than 2008. The Democrats aggregate lead is 34234 ballots cast, 9321 fewer than the margin four years ago at this juncture but a redoubled effort will be needed to counter the Harry Reid/Culinary Union/Obama machine.

The Clark Model

The model held up OK with Democrat turnout only +3.6% greater than expected. The reduced performance by Republicans is more concerning as the model is predicated on the steady climb the GOP achieved relative to the Democrats in 2008. Thus far we are seeing stable Democrat performance as expected but a declining representation from the Republicans. This continues to lower the rate of expected growth and may warrant reversing this expectation absent better returns going forward. The new growth rate is 2.2%, down from 3.2% the day before. The model now estimates a Democrat advantage in early ballots cast of 72,467 — still down from the 2008 advantage 83,633 but progressively worse than prior forecasts.

NBC/WSJ/Marist Grudgingly Concede Nevada and Colorado Are Close

The worst polling alliance of this cycle comes back for a few more surveys and gives it the old college try to keep Obama close as the race begins slipping away in Colorado.  The Nevada poll skews towards the Democrats but otherwise seems to be a fair poll:

Colorado

  • Dead heat at 48 to 48 with 2% Undecided
  • Party ID: D +1 (Dem 34, Rep: 33, Ind: 32) versus 2008 R +1 (Dem 30, Rep: 31, Ind: 39) and R +9 (Dem: 29, Rep: 38, Ind: 33) in 2004
  • Colorado is trending Democrat but I highly doubt the Obama machine will achieve a 2pp greater margin than 2008.  Probably too many Dems and Reps and not enough Inds
  • Racial demos in the poll: White 77%, Hispanics 16%, Blacks 3%.  This compares to 2008 of White: 81%, Hispanics: 13%, Blacks: 4%.  A 4pp decline in the White vote?  Highly doubtful as well as the sizable rise in Hispanics 3%.
  • Playing with the racial make-up which again is a conscious choice of polling organizations is their latest attempt to make Obama poll far better than reality.
  • Even with the two above advantages heavily weighted towards Obama, he can remains below 50% and can do no better than a tie.
  • Romney’s personal favorability is +1 48 to 47 even after half-a-billion dollars in negative ads

Nevada

  • Obama +3, 50 to 47 with 2% Undecided
  • Party ID is D +6 (Dem 39, Rep 33 , Ind 27) versus 2008 of D +8 (Dem 38, Rep 30, Ind 26) and 2004 of R +4 (Dem 35, Rep 39, Ind 26)
  • Still skewed towards the Democrats record turnout in 2008 when Obama was battling an unarmed opponent who gave up on contesting the state.  Good luck with that one on Nov. 6
  • Racial demos: White 70%, Hispanics 16%, Blacks 7%.  This compares with 2008 of White: 69%, Hispanics 15%, Blacks 10%.  Fairly reasonable break-down.  The key will be whether the enthusiasm gap depresses Hispanic turnout
  • Romney’s personal favorability is +2 48 to 46 even after half-a-billion dollars in negative ads

More Intrigue in Clark County Early Voting, Day 5

Clark County Day 5 early voting results have enough in them for every party to spin them to their advantage. The comparative performances by the two major parties were even with the prior day’s results. Democrats cast 14,934 ballots while Republicans cast 9725 ballots resulting in  the Republican early vote accounting for 65% of the Democrat early vote for the second straight day.  Although this matched the prior day’s comparative performance it was a slight improvement for the Democrats relative to my model.  Democrat turnout was +3.4% higher than expected while Republican turnout was -2.3% below expectations.  Not a horrible performance but something the GOP needs to meaningfully counteract if they hope to close the Clark County Democrat advantage sufficiently enough to carry the state. Democrat’s aggregate lead in early ballots cast stands at 28,699, which is -9373 less than the 38,072 ballot lead at the same point in 2008.

More interesting though is daily turnout over the last 3-days has held fairly steady but yesterday both party’s % of the overall vote dropped day-over-day. Democrats were down -0.6 percentage points while Republicans were down -0.2pp.  These deficits were made-up by the steady increase in the Independent/Other parties which accounted for 19.3%, higher than any level achieved by this segment other than their 2008 peak of 19.5% on the final day of early voting. While the two major parties duke it out with results bouncing up-and-down depending on the day, the Independent/Other group has made a steady march higher in each of the four days of early voting.  The Republicans comparative gain on Democrats is a big story thus far in early voting but the rise of he Independents could end up being story of early voting. At this rate, if one candidate can decisively carry this vote it will likely swing the election.


The Clark Model

After the new assumptions were added into the model yesterday I think it performed pretty well based on the above results.  The one thing I want to constantly tweak is the growth rate of Republican’s % of the Democrat vote because this can have a disproportionate impact on the overall difference.  So every day the model will reflect a new growth rate based only on the updated 2012 actual results.  This risk with employing such a daily change is the forecasted results will jump around a lot but because that is what is really happening on the ground I’d rather have each day be a fair estimate of where the vote would end up based only on the actual growth rate achieved and my best guestimate on what I think the growth rate will be (I’ll leave that to your state pension managers).  In this case it brings the growth rate down since the GOP failed to increase the day-over-day turnout relative to Democrats.  The new growth rate is 3.2% versus the 4.2% used yesterday.  We see what a sizable impact this change can have on forecasting in that the expected vote margin between the two parties heading into election day is now 56,034 whereas yesterday the model had this number at 40,820.

Note: the inverse applies to my Washoe model where I have been hesitant to change the growth rate because the GOP is killing it up there and the actual growth rate is nearly double what I modeled. In that model the final result is balanced out by an overestimate of Democrat turnout but  I’ll be changing the Washoe growth rate and expected turnout after tonight’s data though so we’ll see what happens.

 

For reference purposes, here are links to each of the previous day’s analysis.

  • Day 1: Nevada Early Voting is Starting and Day One Results Are Out
  • Day 2: Republican Early Vote Continues to Gain in Clark County, Nevada
  • Day 3: Clark County, Nevada Early Voting Day 3
  • Day 4: Republicans Continue to Make Waves in Clark County, Nevada Early Voting

 

Michael Barone Sees a Suburban Swing Towards Romney

Michael Barone has his usual smart take on the election with a great little nugget for why Romney is closing strong in Pennsylvania and Michigan but isn’t seeing the comparable moves in Ohio:

Barack Obama’s campaign spent huge sums on anti-Romney ads to create a firewall in three states that the president won narrowly in 2008 — Florida, Ohio, and Virginia. But post-debate polling shows Romney ahead in Florida and tied in Virginia. National Journal’s Major Garrett reported last week that Obama strategist David Plouffe omitted Florida and Virginia in a list of key states but mentioned Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. Obama carried the latter three by ten, ten, and twelve points respectively in 2008. So much for the firewall. In addition, polling shows Romney ahead in Colorado, which Obama carried by nine points last time, and the race closing in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, which Obama carried by 14, 10, and 16 points respectively.

That tends to validate my alternative scenario that Mitt Romney would fare much better in affluent suburbs than have the previous Republican nominees since 1992, and would run more like George Bush did in 1988. The only way Pennsylvania and Michigan can be close is if Obama’s support in affluent Philadelphia and Detroit suburbs has melted away. This also helps explain why Romney still narrowly trails in Ohio polls. Affluent suburban counties cast about one-quarter of the votes in Pennsylvania and Michigan but only one-eighth in Ohio.

A pro-Romney swing among the affluent is confirmed by the internals of some national polls. The 2008 exit poll showed Obama narrowly carrying voters with incomes over $75,000. Post-debate Pew Research and Battleground polls have shown affluent suburbanite Romney carrying them by statistically significant margins. In particular, college-educated women seem to have swung toward Romney since October 3. He surely had them in mind in the foreign-policy debate when he kept emphasizing his hopes for peace and pledged no more wars like those in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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.