The Campaign Spot

If These Numbers Are Right, You Can Almost Call Nevada For McCain Now

Campaign Spot reader Laurence notes an interesting wrinkle in the post below about Nevada. The guy doing the exit poll of those who have already voted, with 7,147 responses, puts Obama ahead, 50 percent to 48 percent.

If Republicans were a lot more of the early voters, McCain would be nervous. If Democrats were a lot more of the early voters, Obama should be nervous. And if they were split even, a 50-48 Obama lead is in the neighborhood of what we would expect.

In Clark County, “through Sunday, 55 percent of early voters were Democrats, 29 percent Republicans.”

“In Washoe County, 51 percent of the early voters through Sunday were Democrats, while 33 percent were Republicans.”

Clark County, which includes Las Vegas and its surrounding area, has 68.7 percent of the registered voters in the state. Washoe County, which includes Reno, has 18.6 percent of the registered voters in the state.

In Clark County, Democrats hold a 46.3 percent to 32.3 percent edge in voter registration. In Washoe County, the split is 39.2 percent Democrat, 38.7 percent Republican.

With those numbers, you would expect Obama to be ahead by a much wider margin. Unless that poll of the early voters was way off — and this pollster managed to reach roughly one out of every 43 early voters; think about that when you see a poll of 1,000 designed to represent a national voting pool of 120-130 million voters! — a considerable number of Democrats and independents/unaffiliateds in Nevada are voting for McCain.

No pollster has had McCain ahead in Nevada since the end of September. So why is McCain so dramatically overperforming among early voters who are disproportionately Democrats?

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