Republicans have their work cut out for them in Nevada

Although Michael Barone predicts that Mitt Romney will be elected pretty handily, he gives President Obama the edge in Nevada:

Democratic early-voting turnout is down from 2008 in Las Vegas’ Clark County, 70 percent of the state. But the casino unions’ turnout machine on Election Day re-elected an unpopular Harry Reid in 2010, and I think they’ll get enough Latinos and Filipinos out this time. Obama [to win the State].

The early voting tends to support Barone’s Nevada prediction. The Reid/SEIU machine got a big last day of early voting, leading Nevada political guru John Ralston to conclude that for Romney to win, it will take 90 percent Republican turnout and a decisive win by Romney among independents. Says Ralston, “that’s their only chance, and the smart ones know it. Not impossible, but unlikely.”

However, our Nevada reader who’s been following the early voting for us crunched the numbers and believes that if Democrat crossovers exceed the Republican crossovers by 5 percent or more, Romney will have a decent chance. Based on assumptions drawn from the last Las Vegas Review-Journal poll (that Obama wins 85 percent of the Democratic vote and 9 percent of the Republican vote; that Romney wins 87 percent of the Republican vote and 12 percent of the Republican vote; and that Romney wins independents by 7 points), he believes that Obama’s current lead is less than 13,000 (even though 48,000 more Democrats have voted than Republicans).

Assuming a turnout of about 78 to 80 percent (similar to 2008), then 275,000 to 300,000 people will vote on election day. Under that assumption and those set forth above, Romney would only need about a 5 percent margin of victory among those who vote on election day to win. And our reader believes that this is not out of the question, since Democrats tend to vote early to a greater extent than Republicans do.

Our reader’s assumptions seem somewhat optimistic to me. However, even in John Ralston’s account, which seems a bit optimistic from the Obama point of view, Romney is still in the hunt. So we urge our readers in Nevada to redouble their efforts on Romney’s behalf.

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