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A SEPTET OF THURSDAY NUGGETS:
Early/mail voting, Day 5: Democrats now have 30,000-vote lead in Clark, still have edge in Washoe
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.
My column: Why Romney hasn't surrendered Nevada
Mitt Romney campaigned in Nevada today for the second consecutive day. The question is: Why? Any reasonable analysis of the early voting numbers so far shows that the Democratic machine is crushing the Republicans’ Rube Goldberg contraption. In Clark County, the Democrats have a 25,000-voter lead. Even in Washoe County, the Democrats are holding their own. Why can’t Mitt get the message? As Boz Scaggs once crooned: Why pretend? This is the end. But is it over here in Nevada? The answer: Not quite yet.
Two new polls show Obama ahead; one shows Senate race a dead heat
Some quick thoughts on the new Rasmussen and Public Policy Polling surveys for Nevada released today (caveat: both are robopollers and I am still a bit of a robophobe): Rasmussen: 50-48, Obama
Democratic firewall in Clark County now at 25,000; GOP playing catchup in Washoe
UPDATED AT 9:45 AM: The SOS now has the following state numbers after a morning tally (not all numbers in for Day 4): 210,484 have voted by mail or early voting. 48 percent are Democrats and 35.5 percent are Republicans. The raw vote lead is about 21,000 votes. So if 90 percent of partisans are voting for each guy and let's say Romney is winning indies by 10 points (which would be big), he would still be behind by more than 13,000 votes.
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)
What early voting really means
So what do we know after two days of early voting? Not a lot -- but something. We know turnout was huge during that first weekend -- almost 60,000 voters turned out, 15,000 more than in '08 -- and we know that the second week is usually much bigger than the first (it was 50 percent greater in '08). We know the Democrats are getting out their voters -- better than four years ago, in fact.
After two days, Dems have 13,000 vote lead in Clark
The numbers: D Others R 31,401 9,683 18,106 That's 53-31. In 2008, after two days, the total raw vote lead was 16,000, and it was 60-24. So no wave, but still a substantial Democratic lead, and 7 points above registration. Democrats have turned out well above 2008 (27,000 vs. 31,000) but GOP has done even better relative to four years ago (11,000 vs. 18,000), albeit still well behind.
How Nevada could REALLY matter
I have been writing all season how much Nevada matters in the presidential race. We have been one of a handful of battleground states all year long, and we remain a toss-up in most assessments. (I think the state leans to Obama, but that's me.) I decided to have some fun, though, with the great site 270 to win. I found two ways that Nevada really could matter. Take a look at these scenarios:
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: