Democrats increase raw vote lead to 19,000 in urban counties

UPDATED: Democrats have a 1,700-vote lead in absentee ballots returned, so the urban county vote lead is above 20,000 (still don't have Washoe mail count.)

Democrats turned out 5,000 more voters in Clark County than the Republicans on Day 3 and the count was about even in Washoe County.

Clark saw another robust day of voting as 30,000 people turned out, bringing the three-day total to just under 90,000 voters -- that's more than 20,000 more than had turned out by this time in 2008.

The numbers in Clark for Day 3:

Democrats: 15,015 (49 percent)

Republicans: 10,219 (33 percent)

The good news for Republicans is they turned out a couple of points above their registration (remember it's 46-31, Democrats). And even though no one on either side expects this to be 2008, when Barack Obama won the state by 12, the Democrats had a much bigger lead four years ago -- 23,000 raw votes. The bad news is that the Democrats still have a robust margin -- they increased their raw vote lead to 18,000 -- perhaps an indication that the GOP Election Day edge may not have much of an impact.

With three days of data in -- or nearly a fourth of the total -- if this pace keeps up, even with a slight drop-off every day, the Democrats will have a 60,000-vote or so firewall by the end of early voting in the South. That should be enough for President Obama to win the state, unless he gets crushed among independents, who (along with third paries) are accounting for just under a fifth of the vote.

Overall Clark numbers:

Democrats 52 percent (46,416)

Republicans: 32 percent (28,325)

So that 20-point lead is 5 points above the actual registration edge for the Democrats. The Republicans are making progress, but unless they begin cutting into that margin every day, the raw vote lead will be substantial by Election Day.

In Washoe County, the Republicans actually turned out more voters for the first time -- 2,865-2,834. They need to do well in Washoe because Mitt Romney's landslide in rural Nevada won't mean much if Obama wins both urban counties. 

Washoe totals (21,248 have voted):

Democrats -- 9,700, or 46 percent

Republicans -- 8,314, or 39 percent

So that 7-point lead compares to a dead heat in registration.

(I will add absentee ballot totals and rural county numbers when I get them.)