Democratic firewall in Clark County now at 25,000; GOP playing catchup in Washoe

UPDATED AT 9:45 AM: The SOS now has the following state numbers after a morning tally (not all numbers in for Day 4): 210,484 have voted by mail or early voting. 48 percent are Democrats and 35.5 percent are Republicans. The raw vote lead is about 21,000 votes. So if 90 percent of partisans are voting for each guy and let's say Romney is winning indies by 10 points (which would be big), he would still be behind by more than 13,000 votes.

After four days of early/mail voting, the Democrats have a massive lead in Clark County and the Republicans are not doing as well as they need to in Washoe County.

The Democrats added about 5,000 voters to their lead in Clark while the GOP won Washoe by about 200 voters out of more than 9,000 cast. The Democrats now have a 25,000-voter lead in Clark and about 1,200 in Washoe. 

It's still relatively early, but the trend keeps looking familiar to those of us who have watched this cycle after cycle. The only difference this cycle is how huge the turnout is -- 30 percent higher in Clark than four years ago. The Republicans are doing better than the 2008 disaster, but not well enough yet to indicate they can stop the Democrats from banking enough votes to hold off any advantage for the GOP on Election Day. The real question is whether this high turnout presages that Election Day will mean even less than it usually does, or whether we are headed for a record turnout this election. Or both.

It was 80 percent in 2008. But with almost a fifth of voters already having cast ballots only four days in -- and the second week of early voting is usually larger -- it may well be higher than that. I don't want to extrapolate too much with this much data, but it seems clear the Republicans need either a larger turnout differential and a substantial win for Mitt Romney among unaffiliated and third-party voters.

The numbers in Clark, with early and absentees tallied:

Democrats -- 73,531, or 50 percent

Republicans -- 48,169, or 33 percent

Others -- 24,637, or 17 percent

So Democrats are 4 points above their Clark registration and Republicans are about 2 points above. One quick scenario: Suppose each candidate is holding 90 percent of the base and Romney is winning others by 10 points. That would mean President Obama already has a 19,000 vote lead in Clark -- after four days! (Have I mentioned no poll shows Romney winning idies by that much -- indeed, some show it even or Obama ahead.)