As early voting begins today, and Republicans continue to spin their tales of voter contacts, let me show you just how difficult Mitt Romney's task is here in Nevada.
Let's suppose Republicans have a 5 percentage point turnout edge over Democrats (85 percent to 80 percent) once all the votes are counted and that "other" voters turn out at an 80 percent clip (that may be high). Let's suppose 85 percent of each base votes for the nominee (it's likely to be closer to 90 percent) and let's suppose the third-party candidates get 3 percent of the vote (it's unlikely to be much higher, based on history). That's a fairly conservative model.
Because of the Democrats' registration edge -- 90,000 statewide -- that means Romney would have to win all of those remaining voters by about 13 percent.
And guess what? No credible poll is showing that. Indeed, not one public poll has shown anything close to that -- even GOP-skewed Rasmussen, which had a 39-36, GOP sample (nearly impossible), had Obama up by 9 among indies. Many polls show Obama up among unaffiliated voters.
If Obama gets 90 percent of the Democratic base, and Romney does the same, the Republican would need a 15 percent win among remaining voters.
Believe me, folks, from what I have seen in recent polling and know is going on out in the field, those are very generous scenarios for Romney. And he still needs a landslide among independents to win. THIS is why that registration edge is so significant for the Democrats -- it's a firewall against underachivement among nonpartisan voters. That means Romney needs the turnout machine that worked so impressively the last two cycles to break down this cycle for the Republican standard-bearer to bust through that firewall.
I delve into this much more deeply Sunday for premium subscribers. I'll also have an analysis of early voting trends and what to look for during the next two weeks and a never-before-made-public document to show you just how good Mark Mellman was in 2010. Much more, too, including Steve Wynn's political activity, the Hispanic vote, inactive voters and, of course, The State of the Races. Lots of information....