UPDATED: The latest statewide numbers are in. Bottom line: Democrats have a 9-point lead, almost 23,000 in raw votes. The state site is still not updating with Washoe mail ballots, where Republicans have had an advantage. Rural numbers are coming in strongly, with nearly a 2-to-1 advantage for GOP (19,975-11,211). It will be interesting to see if high early voting in rural areas, especially Douglas County, means there will be higher-than-usual cow country turnout or fewer rural voters on Election Day.
Staewide results are here.
Democrats added about 6,000 voters to their lead in Clark County on the fifth day of early voting Wednesday while the Republicans cut a sliver out of the opposition's lead in Washoe County.
There is no sign -- at least not yet -- of a Republican surge that will cause a huge turnout differential that could change the dynamic. But with the fifth straight say of 30,000-plus voters, the real question is whether Election Day turnout may be so small as to not make much of a difference in the presidential or U.S. Senate races, unless they are very close after early voting.
Nearly 180,000 people have voted by mail or at the polls in Clark County after five days -- 21 percent of all county voters. If turnout is 80 percent in Clark, that means more than a quarter of the total vote already is done with nine days to go.
The numbers in Southern Nevada:
Democrats-- 89,687, or 50 percent
Republicans -- 59,099, or 33 percent
Others -- 30,973, or 17 percent
Overall turnout by party looks like this in Clark:
Democrats -- 23 percent
Republicans -- 22.5 percent
Others -- 15.7 percent
So no turnout differential in Clark so far.
The Republicans won Washoe on Wednesday by 200 votes out of about 8,300 cast. But the Democrats still have the lead (caveat: Washoe has been slow in updating mail ballots, where the GOP has a solid edge): 16,792-15,809.
I'll leave you with this perspective: In 2008, which the GOP wants to use as a baseline because the party looks much stronger than that disastrous showing, Democrats had an 83,000-vote edge after early voting ended. With that margin, Barack Obama won Clark County by 19 points, just slightly under the 21-point early vote edge. If the Republicans don't turn this pattern around in the second week, where traditionally voting is higher and closer between the parties, the Demicrats likley won't get to 2008 levels but may get to 65,000 or so.
Unless there is significant partisan hemorraghing by Obama and unless he is getting killed by indies (no sign of that in any polling), this firewall will be tough for the GOP to pierce. And unless the Republicans make progress in Washoe -- they need to win by at least 5 points, I'd say -- i don't see any way Mitt Romney wins the state.