Saturday, November 5, 2016

Democratic Early Voting Turnout Will End Trump's White House Chances

In a thrilling final day of early voting in Nevada, voters turned out in record numbers - and when I say "voters," I mean Democrats.

We've heard about an "enthusiasm gap" for Hillary Clinton? Not last night. Not in Nevada.

So much enthusiasm was on display last night that at one polling station at a Cardenas Grocery store the line to vote was so long, the polls couldn't close until after 10PM.

Here's Nevada political expert Jon Ralston crunching the early vote numbers:

Trump's path was nearly impossible, as I have been telling you, before what happened in Clark County on Friday. But now he needs a Miracle in Vegas on Election Day -- and a Buffalo Bills Super Bowl championship is more likely -- to turn this around. The ripple effect down the ticket probably will cost the Republicans Harry Reid's Senate seat, two GOP House seats and control of the Legislature.

How devastating was it, epitomized by thousands of mostly Latino voters keeping Cardenas market open open in Vegas until 10 PM? This cataclysmic:

----The Democrats won Clark County by more than 11,000 votes Friday (final mail count not posted yet), a record margin on a record-setting turnout day of 57,000 voters. The Dems now have a firewall -- approaching 73,000 ballots -- greater than 2012 when Barack Obama won the state by nearly 7 points. The 71,000 of 2012 was slightly higher in percentage terms, but raw votes matter. The lead is 14 percentage points -- right at registration. You know what else matters? Registration advantages (142,000 in Clark). Reminder: When the Clark votes were counted from early/mail voting in 2012, Obama had a 69,000 vote lead in Clark County. Game over.

----The statewide lead (some rurals not posted) will be above 45,000 -- slightly under the 48,000 of 2012, but still robust. That's 6 percentage points, or right about at registration. The GOP turnout advantage was under a percent, worse than 2012 when it was 1.1 percent.

----Total turnout without those rurals: 768,000, or 52.5 percent. If overall turnout ends up being 80 percent, that means two thirds of the vote is in -- close to 2012. Republicans would have to not only win Election Day by close to double digits to turn around the lead Hillary Clinton almost surely has in early voting, but they would have to astronomically boost turnout.

As an exclamation point to a historic night in Nevada, in which Clinton essentially locked up the state and Hispanics, insulted all cycle by Trump, streamed into the market, here is what the final Cardenas numbers showed (tallied by an on-the-ground activist):

1,904 voted
1,258: Ds, 66%
165: Rs, 9%
481: NPs, 25%

So Cardenas was responsible for adding 1,000 to the Democratic lead.

Trump has almost no path to the presidency without Nevada. He can say whatever he wants in Reno on Saturday and boost rural turnout a lot, but he made his own bed when he announced his candidacy.

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