Clark County, NV: 160,000 early votes cast during week 1

by: hekebolos

Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 07:29

Friday marked the end of the first week of early voting in Nevada.  In Clark County, which represented 65% of Nevada's votes in 2004, there have already been exactly 160,000 early votes cast in person, with a striking Democratic advantage.  This number shatters 2004's one-week early turnout record of around 102,000.

Of those 160,000 votes, a hair short of 56%--89,554 votes total--were from registered Democrats, while a little less than 28 were cast by registered Republicans--44,607 total votes.  That means that during the first week, Democrats outnumbered Republicans with regard to total in-person early voting by a factor of over 2 to 1.  We have had 25,839 non-partisan or minor party ballots cast as well.

More below.

hekebolos :: Clark County, NV: 160,000 early votes cast during week 1
While this is indeed cause for optimism, it is worth noting that the number of Democratic votes is decreasing day by day, while the number of Republican votes is increasing.  In general, we're seeing the same thing in Washoe County, which holds another 20% or so of NV voters.  This is a symbol of the strength of the Democratic early vote machine, but what it also means is that we can't expect this 2-1 margin of D-R registration in Clark County to last.

Interestingly, we also have totals for all the absentee ballots that have been voted and returned.  One would expect these numbers to favor Republicans, as absentees usually do.  But the Republican advantage is not very large: out of 28,022 total voted absentee ballots, Republicans only account for a little over 46% (12,926), while Dems account for 41.6% (11,667), with 12.2% (3,429) other.

All in all, what that means is that of the total 188,022 ballots cast in Clark County so far, here are the partisan breakdowns:

53.83% Democrat (101,221)
30.6% Republican (57,533)
15.57% Other (29,268)

In 2004, absentee + early vote was 60% of the total vote cast in 2004--which means that to have a chance in Clark County, and therefore Nevada, McCain would either need to be winning a disproportionate number of Democrats or how that all the Republicans are coming out on election day instead.

So--what happens when you factor in the data from Washoe County?  At the time of this posting, they're a day behind, and don't have Friday's results.  But Washoe County is turning out in droves for Democrats too: 35,563 early votes so far, with 18,567 D, 11,406 R, and 5,590 Other.

Remember that Washoe County and Clark County combined for 85% of Nevada's total electorate in 2004.  So what happens when we add these numbers together?

223,585 votes cast:

53.58% Democratic (119,788 total)
30.83% Republican (68,939 total)
15.59% Other (34,858 total)

Now, keep something else in mind: according to some previous calculations I did, if one assumes the same Republican performance in all counties outside of Washoe and Clark, and if one assumes that the percentage of the electorate each county provides stays the same (which is actually conservative, because the cities will have increased in population at a higher rate than the outlying counties), then Obama would only need 53% of the total Clark County + Washoe County vote to win Nevada.

Based on these numbers, it looks like he's well on his way there.

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