Election Update: Trump May Depress Republican Turnout, Spelling
Disaster For The GOP
Instead of a poll, let’s start today’s Election Update with some actual votes. According to the estimable Nevada journalist Jon Ralston, Democrats have a 20-percentage-point turnout edge so far based on early and absentee voting in Clark County (home to Las Vegas), Nevada. And they have a 10-point edge in Washoe County (home to Reno).
Nevada is one of a number of states where Democrats usually do better in early voting than in the vote overall, so this shouldn’t be taken to mean that Hillary Clinton and the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate in Nevada, Catherine Cortez Masto, are going to win their races by double digits. But Nevada is an interesting state, insofar as both Clinton and Donald Trump can find things to like about its demographic makeup: In Clinton’s case, the growing number of Hispanic and Asian-American voters bodes well for her; in Trump’s case, there’s the fact that only about one-third of Nevada’s white voters have college degrees, according to FiveThirtyEight’s estimates. Furthermore, Nevada has shown tight polling all year, with Clinton having only pulled ahead since the debates — surprising given that President Obama won Nevada by 7 percentage points in 2012 and that Clinton is beating Obama’s numbers in other Western states.
One needs to be careful about drawing too many inferences from early-voting data. There are a lot of states to look at and a lot of ways to run the numbers, and we’ve seen smart analysts trick themselves into drawing conclusions that didn’t necessarily hold up well by Election Day. But it seems fair to say the data is mostly in line with the polls. Democrats are seeing very strong early-voting numbers in Virginia and reasonably encouraging ones in North Carolina, two states where Clinton has consistently outperformed Obama in polls. They also seem set to make gains in Arizona and Colorado, where the same is true. But Democratic numbers aren’t all that good in Iowa or Ohio, where Clinton has underperformed Obama in polls.
The problem for Trump is that taken as a whole, his polls aren’t very good — and, in fact, they may still be getting worse. An ABC News national poll released on Sunday morning — the first live-caller poll conducted fully after the final presidential debate — showed Clinton leading Trump 50 percent to 38 percent. Clinton’s 12-point lead in that poll is toward the high end of a broad range of results from recent national polls, with surveys showing everything from a 15-point Clinton lead to a 2-point Trump edge. But the ABC News poll is interesting given its recency and given why Clinton has pulled so far ahead in it — Republicans aren’t very happy with their candidate and may not turn out to vote: