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The early voting blog, Primary 2022

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Updated, June 3, 8:10 AM

Just over 3,400 Clark County voters cast ballots in person Thursday, with 1,800 of them Republicans and 1,300 Democrats. About 24,000 have now voted in person after six days, with about half of them GOP and 40 percent Dems.

The counted mail ballots so far are also at about 24,000, but the partisan breakdown is much different: More than 11,000 Dems and 8,000 Repubs.

Overall Clark turnout is now at about 4 percent. GOP turnout — Republican primaries are where the action should be — is at about 20,000 voters, or 6 percent.

Here is the latest on the two wacky southern GOP congressional primaries:

CD3: 7,500 Republicans have been tallied, or 6 percent

CD4: 6,000 Republican votes have been counted, or 6.3 percent

It’s possible voting will pick up in the second week, and many Republicans may well be waiting for June 14 to vote in person. But there is no sign — yet at least — of super-GOP-enthusiasm in Clark.

In Washoe, 23,500 have now voted, or 7.5 percent. GOP turnout (9,300) is at 9 percent. That’s not bad after six days and if the pattern continues — or accelerates — that could mean a very high number after all the ballots are counted.

Refreshing your memory of overall primary turnout in previous years:

2020 (all-mail): 30 percent

2018: 23 percent

2016: 19 percent

2014 (last red wave): 19 percent

2010 (crowded GOP primary to face Harry Reid): 30 percent

I say again: Primary turnout has little connection to general turnout and is more dependent on how many competitive and/or high-profile contests there are. I still think 2010 is the best baseline to look at for the GOP.

I still don’t see any obvious patterns, which are usually hard to detect anyhow in primaries. I still think low turnout helps the kooks and higher helps the more normal candidates, although discerning which is which is not always easy….

More data when I get it.

Updated, June 2, 8:20 AM

Steady as she goes in Washoe, where the results Wednesday were nearly the same as Tuesday — 1,100 in-person voters with about twice as many Repubs as Dems. If you add mail ballots, nearly 20,000 people have already voted in Washoe and Dems (by 700) have a significant lead in turnout. Again, I say, heckuva job GOP “leaders” discouraging your folks from mailing ballots.

Turnout in Washoe is at about 6 percent. For comparison, in the last off-year election, 2018, the total number of ballots cast early, by mail and in-person was about 35,000. That number is going to be easily eclipsed, thanks to the mail ballots.

In Clark, the total is about 34,000 ballots cast — just under 14,000 by mail as many voters got theirs later in the South. It’s 6,272 Dems to 5,014 Republicans in mail ballots, and remember, Dems have little to March to the polls for this cycle.

Just under 4,000 people vote in person Wednesday in Clark, with 700 more Republicans than Dems. So, yes, the scare tactics work in Clark, too, Chairman McDonald. Kudos.

In 2018, about 116,000 voters cast ballots in Clark before Election Day. Despite the slow going on mail ballots, I think that number will be surmounted by the end of the two-week period.

Still no rural data from the SOS, but a GOP operative informs me that about 2,800 GOP voters in the other 15 counties had cast ballots though Tuesday. Turnout does not seem unusually high in those counties, and I would guess the mail fright is most acute there.

More info when I get it…

Updated: June 1, 9:15 AM

Clark started counting mail ballots Tuesday, so the numbers bumped up. The totals of all votes are just over 20,000 ballots, or 1.5 percent. Of those, 3,718 are mail, meaning about 3,600 were added Tuesday. Remember, Clark voters got their ballots later than most, and the deluge is coming.

Dems and Repubs are about even in the heavily Dem county, so the GOP mail-scare-tactics may be at play here. Many skittish Repubs will wait until Election Day, even though the machines could be hacked by Italian satellites. Overall, Repubs have about a 1,300-vote advantage, including about 500 in Tuesday’s in-person voting.

In Washoe, the Repubs have won decisively all four days of in-person voting but trail 5,893-5,412 because of a Dem advantage in mail. Washoe turnout is approaching 5 percent after four days — it is going to be very high for an off-year election if this keeps up.

Still looking for some rural numbers, so hit me up if you have them, favorite campaign operatives of mine. SOS has not been posting as it usually does, which probably will send the Marchantians into a frenzy.

One last thing this AM: One campaign operative tracking this closely says it’s clear a bunch of indies switched to the GOP to vote in the primaries. I don’t know who is more agitated this time of year — pundits ravenous for data or operatives nervous about turnout. Actually, I do know: I get to be sadistic and they have to worry about whether they will have a job post-June 14, unless they are a failing upwards operative like Rory “Look I won meaningless awards but lose general elections” McShane.

More data when I have it, folks…

Updated: May 31, 8:45 AM

Clark updated overnight and Repubs are still turning out in decent numbers in the South, with the caveat that almost no mail ballots have been tallied yet. On Monday, 1,706 Republicans and 1,79 Dem voted in person.

Clark totals for in-person after three days:

5,796 Republicans have turned out and 5,096 Democrats. (Only 1,198 nonpartisans if you care — I don’t, really.) There are 1.3 million registered voters in Clark, so this is very small turnout so far.

Washoe has been much more robust, and one source alerted me to the fact that more people have voted in the first three days than. in the first week in 2018: 12,038 to 11,247. Of course, there is much more robust mail voting now — and that accounts for some of the bump. In another Washoe anomaly, Dems continue to outpace Repubs in Washoe: 5,090 to 4,443. Turnout in Washoe is at about 4 percent now.

If you are wondering about the three southern congressional races, turnout is at about 1 percent in all of them (GO:P turnout is slightly higher.). Republicans are ahead in all three, even though there is a Democratic primary in CD1. The numbers:

CD1: 1,844 to 1,714

CD3: 2,202 to 1,854

CD4: 1,750 to 1,500

I still think it’s too early to say the turnout will be low or high, or hurt one candidate or another. More data when I get it — and if anyone has rural numbers, send them my way.

Updated, May 30, 12:15 PM

Still not much data to go on,

Still not much data to go on, but here’s the latest:

Clark:

8,652 combined in person, including 4,090 Republicans and 3,689 Dems. That includes 1,537 Republicans and 1,302 Democrats on Saturday. (No change in mail totals, which are negligible so far.) Still well under 1 percent of the nearly 1.3 million Clark active voters.

It is quite possible that Republicans, spooked by their conspiracy-minded leaders, may vote in large numbers on June 14 — or that the numbers will pick up after the holiday weekend.

Washoe:

Many more mail ballots returned in Washoe, with the total combined with in-person at 10,376 having cast ballots. The breakdown: 4,372 Democrats to 3,757 Republicans. Only 561 voted in person Sunday, about 60 percent of them GOP. But because of mail, Dems are ahead in a county with more Republicans and where there are many more reasons for GOP turnout to occur. The total Washoe turnout is about 3 percent.

Remember, in 2010, the GOP turnout almost got to 50 percent with that crowded race for the right to face Harry Reid. Nowhere near that kind of enthusiasm showing yet, but Clark mail could change that and I sense a much larger Primary Day turnout this cycle because of Republicans sowing fear about mail ballots.

More when I have it.

Updated, May 29, 2:45 PM

Washoe combined mail and in-person so far:

GOP: 3,330

Dem: 3,992

And here are some returned mail ballots from the rurals as of Friday evening, via a campaign source (the other numbers here so far are from official sources):

3,071 GOP
3,069 DEM

It’s way too early to tell for sure, but these early numbers might indicate some hesitancy among Republicans to vote by mail. We will know more as Clark mail ballots pour in this week and as early voting progresses.

More numbers when I get them…

—-

Welcome to the early voting blog, a tradition like no other.

Doing this kind of analysis for a primary is much different – and much more problematic – than doing it for a general, where partisan voting patterns can lead to inescapable conclusions. It is even more difficult this year because it is the first midterm primary where mail balloting will be prolific, if not dominant. (The law passed in 2021, after pandemic-affected elections in 2020, mandated every voter be sent a mail ballot.)

The only number I feel confident reporting to kick things off is that only 5,490 people voted in person in Clark on the first day, which is statistically insignificant to make any projections. There were 2,554 Republicans and 2,390 Democrats. I will report mail ballots returned – there are thousands already in Washoe and they will be coming in soon in Clark (only 138 so far)  – and partisan breakdowns when I get them. I’ll also report totals from the rurals when I get them, too.

Remember, too, that early voting is kicking off on a holiday weekend, which also could reduce totals. And it’s always harder to get information on any weekend from official authorities, although some are better than others.

Let’s set some baseline assumptions, which I reserve the right to change during the 14 days of early voting (but I will dutifully inform you if I do):

First, I expect Republican turnout to be much higher than Democratic turnout. There are few major races with high-profile or competitive primaries – lieutenant governor is the one exception and who gets excited to turn out for THAT? So with major primaries for governor and U.S. Senate, not to mention other constitutional offices having races, the Republicans should have more robust turnout. I caution, though, as I always do, that primary turnout is almost never a harbinger of general election turnout. Two different universes separated by six months of unpredictable events/trends. (in 2014, the last red wave year in Nevada, primary turnout was 19 percent.)

Second, the lower the turnout, the more likely weird things could happen. Joey Gilbert, for example, has the support of a fringe group of Republicans who probably will turn out. Joe Lombardo has broader support, so theoretically would benefit from a larger turnout. Same could be true down the ballot for the likes of Sigal Chattah for AG and Jim Marchant for SOS.

Third, predicting what the turnout will be is problematic. Usually I can use a past election as a baseline. For example, in 2010, with a multiway primary for the right to face Harry Reid, GOP turnout was abnormally high: 44 percent. I don’t sense quite the enthusiasm for this year’s primaries. But 2010 was not an election where it was so easy to vote – i.e. everyone has a mail ballot or will soon. During the pandemic in 2020, nearly 500,000, or 30 percent of the state’s voters, cast ballots. But this may not be apples to apples because there are more GOP primaries of interest this cycle. And we still don’t know how many GOP voters will be affected by the continued harping by GOP elected officials and candidates about the perils of mail voting.

I’ll update this blog with numbers as soon as I get them every day. And I’ll include any analysis based on the numbers and what the campaigns are saying.

 


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