November 1st, 2010
09:12 PM ET
12 years ago

Who's winning in Nevada? The Reid v. Angle math

(CNN) - Wondering what to watch for in the early Nevada returns? Well the campaigns have already begun spinning the numbers. Here are the Democrats' and Republicans' takes on where things stand.

First the facts: According to Nevada elections officials, 65 percent of everyone who will vote in this election has already done so, either by early voting or mail-in ballot. More Democrats voted early than Republicans, but keep in mind, there are more registered Democrats in the state.

That's where the agreement ends.

Here's what supporters of Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle will tell you.

Republicans say about 10,000 more Democrats voted early than Republicans – but it's not enough to deliver Reid a victory. Why? Because 44 percent of all registered voters are Democrats, but they cast only 43.5 percent of all early votes. So those pulling for Angle say Democrats "under performed" by .5 percent (The math: 44-43.5 = 0.5%). In contrast, 41 percent of all early voters were Republicans, and Republicans make up 35 percent of all registered voters. Therefore, the GOP says, Nevada Republicans "over performed" by 6.0 percent (The math: 41-35 = 6%). They say this shows a significant enthusiasm gap favoring Republicans, and it will only get bigger on Tuesday. That's because historically, Nevada Republicans are more likely to turn out on Election Day, and they say this year certainly will be no exception.

It's no surprise the Democrats crunch the numbers very differently and after early voting they see no enthusiasm gap.

This is how the Democrats do the math: They found 38 percent of all Republicans eligible to vote have already cast a ballot. Compare that to Democrats' turnout: 34.6 percent of all eligible Democrats already voted. The difference between the two numbers - which they call the "turnout advantage" - is just under 3.5 percent. Democrats say if this were a Republican wave election that Republican turnout advantage would be bigger. They point out that in 2006 - the last midterm election - Republicans had a 6 percent turnout advantage and that year Republicans did not do well on Election Day.

The Democrats also point out that Republicans normally get an Election Day bump from rural voters. But this year rural Nevadans participated in early voting at a much higher than usual rate. Democrats are betting voting patterns won't be that different on Tuesday than they were in the overall early balloting, meaning no Republican surge at the polling places.

The Democrats conclusion: they're in good shape to win.

So what should you believe? Nevada's veteran political reporter Jon Ralston agrees the early vote does not reflect a huge Republican surge. In a blog post over the weekend he concluded, "Harry Reid has a chance to win if that overall edge stays below the historical 6 percent edge the GOP has in midterms." Ralston is predicting a Reid victory writing, "all the data I have seen tell me that unless Reid loses independents by 15 points or so, he will hold on."

But there's the rub. What these numbers don't reflect is the independent vote. Republicans think Angle will win 6 out of 10 independents, enough to give her a victory. Democrats say their internal polling shows Reid is doing just fine among independents, and that he will hold his advantage. But, don't forget in Nevada there are other candidates on the ballot – and the final complicating factor: voters have the option of picking "None of the Above."

Bottom line it's going to be a late night on Tuesday.

Filed under: 2010 • Harry Reid • Nevada • Sharron Angle
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Jacob

    if Angle wins, the world will be laughing, Nevada!

    November 1, 2010 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  2. The reality is...

    Don't forget, the Democrats have the voter fraud factor pulling for them, also.
    By now it's a fact isn't it?

    November 1, 2010 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  3. notoj

    See if I got this correct. The druggy unemployed liberals plan and vote in advance and the responsible employed GOP waits to the last minute. Hmmm sorry not buying it. The votes against Abgel will increase.

    November 1, 2010 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  4. Kimber

    Democrats, we can either deliver a surprise on Tuesday or we can be thoroughly disgusted with ourselves on Wednesday. If we just show up, we can stop this country from being served up on a silver platter to a bunch of rabid anti-intellectuals who want to roll back nearly every right and protection we've won over the last 150 years. They're out for our public education system, our Social Security. If we don't show up, some very scary people are going to be making big decisions that affect all of our lives. VOTE as if your life depends upon it.

    November 1, 2010 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  5. Concerned

    Harry Reid 2010! I'm an independent and I early voted for Sen. Harry Reid!

    November 1, 2010 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  6. beevee

    If only the media shut up and does not spin and brainwash people the outcome of the election will be much more tolerable. Let the voters decide. Stop playing the mind games.

    November 1, 2010 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  7. HD 100% ETH

    The Country is in the better shape than Eight Years ago. It is time or a must the Republican to win either by vote or tactic/technic kinds of elections on both ways.

    Democrats are sliding down like the up hill mauntain soil wiped by heavy rain fall.

    November 1, 2010 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  8. Doris

    Angle is not winning anything.. Don't count the Dems out as of yet.. We're fired up and ready 2 go!!! Let's go Dems!!! Let's go!!!

    November 1, 2010 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  9. KathyC in Minnesota

    Sharron Angle is the male version of Ken Buck.

    Both lack reality.

    November 1, 2010 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  10. Wall Street Ballet

    America cannot afford to have angle has a senator.

    November 1, 2010 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  11. thomas

    Tea Party ,
    be carful what you pray for ! YOU MIGHT GET IT !

    November 2, 2010 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  12. Clark Wilhelm Griswald

    In all too many places, "independants" are not really independants; they are Republicans in disguise, conservatives who want to pretend they were not part of the Bush disaster (never mind that they enthusiastically cheered the mess as it was happening – until the stench got so bad even they couldn't ignore it).

    Nevadans, are you really so brainwashed and stupid to vote this monstrousity into the Senate? Replacing mediocrity with insane rage is not an improvement.

    November 2, 2010 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  13. willard bullock

    I want vote for angele than reid harry cause he have too problems

    November 2, 2010 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  14. LIP

    When you all vote tomorrow, remember one thing when you are standing in that booth...the Democrats have controlled congress since 2006 and Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd ran the banking committees during that entire time and somehow Bush got blamed for what happened. What is wrong with this picture? The Democrats have controlled everything for four years and Obama for two years and together or apart, they have created this mess we are struggling to get out of. Vote them out!

    November 2, 2010 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  15. Ks

    Nevadans....consider carefully what this vote for people who have made sensible policies and not try to empliment extremest policies. thank you 111 th congress...specifically the demz for standing up for the common or poor just policies that protect people from many things. for passing health care-more children and people covered...wall street reform for consumer breaks...and so much more...while the GOP'ers took tne side lines and did nothing. Nevadans this election is not about the economy to the GOP..its about the special intrest and big corps...about the 2012 elections and unseati.g this people...we r coming out in full force to keep just policies...demz vote.

    November 2, 2010 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  16. joe

    harry is strong no matter what

    November 2, 2010 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  17. barry

    Senator Angle wins this and reid heads to the nursing home! Bye little Dems.

    November 2, 2010 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  18. mitch truth

    Go harry go!!!!

    November 2, 2010 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  19. quincy of nashville

    I will be glad when this is over.

    November 2, 2010 03:03 am at 3:03 am |
  20. J.V.Hodgson

    Tell me my fellow Americans, irrespective of the state of the economy or jobs or deficit, why oh why would you vote for the Angle... she is literally an extremist looney tune who will contribute nothing to of the people, for the people, by the people. I think for all of us the Latinos must vote 100% and ensure she stays where she is in politics I.e Nevada!! and not the Senate of the whole USA. same with O'donnell.

    November 2, 2010 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  21. jules sand-perkins

    Go down, Reid.
    Let us see you lose.
    All that I'm saying is give us a chance.

    November 2, 2010 03:52 am at 3:52 am |
  22. Ted

    Angle is a tried and true nutjob who does not know the job or acts like she even cares when a person will not talk to even local reporters that tells me shes hiding her ignorance.

    November 2, 2010 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  23. Brian

    Go Sharron go!!! Spank that old man!

    November 2, 2010 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  24. jules sand-perkins

    The finest contribution that Reid could make to his country would be his losing this election, because of his close collaboration with President Obama and the illumination that Reid's loss would give to Obama's grave lacks.

    November 2, 2010 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  25. tamarac

    Please NV reelect Reid he may not be perfect , but he is better than the Angle.

    November 2, 2010 08:27 am at 8:27 am |