Democrats extend lead in Clark to 36,000 voters

It's deja vu all over again.

The Democrats extended their lead in Clark County to about 36,000 voters over the Republicans with another solid day and another day where 30,000-plus voters turned out. It now seems reasonable to assume the lead will be 40,000 or so after one week.

With a week to go, that would put the Democrats about halfway to the lead they had in 2008 -- 83,000. I don't think they will get there, but they don't have to. Obama won the state by 12 points (Clark by 19) with that lead. All he needs to do is be in double digits in Clark, and he will win Nevada unless there is a landslide in Washoe, which does not appear to be happening (there were no numbers posted for Washoe as I write this).

The latest Clark numbers (mail and early votes):

Democrats -- 105,674, or 50 percent

Republicans -- 69,512, or 33 percent

Others -- 37, 264, or 17 percent

So a quarter of all registered voters have cast ballots in Clark County. If turnout is 80 percent, that means about a third of the vote is in.

Some quick math. Let's be conservative and say both presidential candidates are only getting 85 percent of their bases. So:

President Obama -- 89,823 votes

Mitt Romney -- 59,085 votes

That leaves 63,542 votes to be apportioned. Let's give 3 percent to the third-party candidates and none of the above: 1,906 votes

So that would mean 61,636 votes left to divide between Obama and Romney. Say Romney is winning that pool by 10 percentage points. That means he gets 33,900 votes and Obama gets 27,736.

Bottom line: Obama would still be ahead now by 24,000 votes in Clark County. If he stays close in Washoe and that lead keeps building down here, the rural onslaught will not save Romney.

So keep an eye on that edge and realize the dynamic remains the same: Romney needs a big win among indies and needs to get a decent lead in Washoe, where the returned ballots have been close.