Final thoughts on first day of early voting; what to look for next

As the Democrats sound buoyant with their wide margin and the Republicans sound like Custer crowing after Little Big Horn, some more thoughts on Day One of early voting in Clark County:

---Republicans -- at least some -- are claiming the Democratic machine did not work as well in Clark because the margin is only a landslide (55-29) after the first day and not a super-landslide (60-23) as it was in '08. Well, ok. But the Democrats still turned out MORE voters than in '08 -- 3,000 more. Their machine is working just fine, and the GOP "machine" almost got to 30 percent of the vote. This is still a slaughter, folks.

----Absentees are making the Republicans closer -- the deficit is just under 20 points, still 5 points above the registration in Clark. But the GOP needs to cut into the raw vote number with absentees, and that didn't happen -- at least not yet.

----Indies could (if the margin gets closer) decide the election. But their raw numbers (5,228) are less than a third of Democrats and only about half of Republicans. In terms of percent of their voters who turned out, it was: Democrats, 5 percent; Republicans, 3.5 percent; and others, 2.5 percent. The smaller the overall percentage of the electorate the "others" are, the less impact they will have on the election. They were 16 percent on the first day in Clark.

----Some other numbers to consider:

CD3 -- 39-37, Democrat, is actual registration. Early plus mail on first day: 45-38, D. That's not a killing.

CD4 -- 46-33, Democrat is actual. Early plus mail on first day: 55-31. That's ominous for Danny Tarkanian if it continues, a possible sign Democrats may be coming home to Steven Horsford.

----Despite Republicans making the point that they do better on Election Day, that's not necessarily true in Clark -- at least not by much. They may be able to reduce the Democratic lead by 2 or 3 points, but not much more than that, considering how many people will have voted early in Southern Nevada.

----Watch for trends. One day is not a trend. So let's see what happens. If the Democrats build up a big enough lead by the end of the two weeks, it will be a firewall against what will happen in rural Nevada. But if the Republicans can keep it relatively close in Clark -- that is, losing the early vote by single digits -- they will have a real chance to win the state for Mitt Romney -- if he can do well in Washoe. President Obama lost the cow counties by 25,000 votes in 2008. He also won Washoe County by 23,000 votes and Clark by 123,000. Surely, the Washoe and Clark numbers will be smaller and the rural number perhaps slightly bigger (30-35,000 would not be out of the question). So look at what the lead is in Clark and what the numbers are in Washoe to see if they can offset that rural loss by extrapolating.

ADDENDUM: One other trend I forgot to mention  in that turnout tends to be signficantly higher in the second week of early voting than the first. So the frist day is a relatively small data sample. And we will know more after the first week if either side starts to show diminishing results.