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The early voting blog, Primary 2022

Jon Ralston
Jon Ralston
Ralston Reports

Updated, June 14, 8:00 AM

Disregard the numbers below, friends. I have just confirmed with SOS that the second week numbers are...not really second week numbers. Turns out that they aggregated mail in the second week but NOT early voting in the report. So, the numbers below are incorrect because of that. Thanks, SOS! (I will not make any comments here about voter fraud, I promise. Now competence...)

Thanks to RedStateIdeas for flagging, or I never would have seen it and contacted SOS. The actual numbers are:

R - 117,435, or 22 percent

D - 105,155, or 17 percent

Percentage of turnout by region on the R side (the interesting side):

Clark: 56 percent (5 percent under reg)

Washoe: 22 percent (3 percent over reg)

Rurals: 22 percent (2 percent over reg)

So about what you would expect.

Mea culpa, folks.

Updated, June 14, 6:45 AM:

Final early mail numbers:

R-- 143,619, 27 percent (I wasn't far off with my 130K forecast.)

D -- 135,906, 22.5 percent

Percentage of turnout by region on the R side (the interesting side):

Clark: 48 percent (-13 percent under reg)

Washoe: 19 percent (at reg)

Rurals: 33 percent (+13 percent over reg)

So the rurals are way up and Clark way down -- before Election Day and more mail comes in. Could high rural turnout produce better numbers for the fringies? I repeat: Definitely, maybe. This is why they pay me the big pundit bucks.

R turnout is going to get above 200K, maybe higher.

HAPPY ELECTION DAY, always my favorite day of the year.

Updated, June 13, 7 AM:

Final Clark stats boosted by relatively large final day (Friday) turnout of 11,500 voters:

Republicans: 32,000 mail, 37,000 in person: That's 69,000, or 21 percent.

Democrats: 53,000 mail, 25,000 in person: That's 78, 000, or 17 percent.

Hope to have final rural numbers later today from SOS, but consider on the GOP side, where almost all of the action is, the urban areas have 94,000. If the rurals just match Washoe -- and they probably will do better -- that means total GOP turnout before Election Day will be about 120,000. Let's say it's even higher, or 130,000.

That means, to get to the 200,000 GOP turnout some Republican analysts predict, about 70,000 votes will ned to be cast on Tuesday and in the remaining mail to be counted (they can still be mailed Tuesday and must be received by June 18). For perspective, 163,000 Republicans would be 30 percent and 218,000 would be 40 percent.

More data when I have it.

Updated, June 11, 9 AM:

It's over. Early voting, that is. Mail ballots are still coming in, rural info is very incomplete and Clark doesn't have full early voting totals yet, but here's what we know:

Clark mail: 91,000 -- 46,000 Dems, 28,000 Repubs.

If we combine those totals with the early votes we know, we get:

67,000 Dems (15 percent), 59,000 Repubs (18 percent). I think we can assume that both parties will tick up a point or two from Friday's early voting numbers. I am most interested in GOP turnout for all the reasons you faithful readers know. So let's assume Clark GOP turnout is 20 percent going into the last days of mail and before Election Day. All of my previous predictions stand: It will get above 30 percent and maybe closer to 40 percent, but we are flying blind because of this new mail focus and GOP fears about voting before Election Day.

In Washoe, final numbers are in: 25,000 Republicans to 22,500 Democrats. So about 25 percent turnout for the GOP and 23 percent for the Dems. It's going to get to between 35 percent and 40 percent in Washoe for the Repubs, I'd guess.

Bottom line: No evidence of huge GOP enthusiasm for these primary choices, but I remind everyone that primary turnout tells us almost nothing about general turnout.

Hoping to have more data Monday, including full rural turnout.

Updated, June 10, 8:50 AM:

One day to go and here's where we are:

Clark: 138,000 voted -- 81,000 mail, 57,000 in person. That's just under 11 percent.

Republicans: 31,000 in person, 25,000 mail. 56,000 is 17 percent. My guess is it will get to 20 percent by the end of the last day, well on its way to 30-plus after all is said and done. Won't be record-setting, but will be robust for a June primary.

Democrats: 41,000 mail, 21,000 in-person. 62,000 is 13.5 percent. Dollar Loan Debra is going to need all those Henderson votes she can muster, and it still might not be enough.

In Washoe, total turnout is now at 48,000 voters, or 15 percent. Republicans are at 21,000 (21 percent) and Democrats at 20,000 (20 percent), so I think Washoe is going to have overall larger turnout than Clark on a proportional basis. Definitely, maybe.

Still not much news from the rurals since Monday's SOS update, although the Record Courier reported: "As of Thursday night, 7,633 Douglas residents have cast their ballots. Of those, 1,715, voted in person while 5,918 cast the paper ballots they received in the mail." 

I'll try to do a wrap-up this weekend, but my guess is there won't be much to glean from these numbers except the bottom line is turnout does not seem so low as to skew any results. Definitely, maybe.

Updated, June 9, 8:45 AM:

Mail ballots are pouring in now in Clark -- now at 70,000. -- and 5,500 people voted in person Wednesday to bring the in-person total to 120,000-plus. Overall, 9 percent have turned out. Totals by party:

Republicans: 49,000 (15 percent) -- 27,000 in person and 22,000 by mail

Democrats: 54,500 (12 percent) -- 19,000 in person and 35,500 by mail

If the mail continues to pour in -- and I am thinking it may -- turnout is going to easily be into the mid-30s for Republicans, maybe 40 percent if there is a big June 14 turnout.

By the way, the turnout in the three southern congressional districts is all about the same, mirroring what's happening countywide.

In Washoe, nearly 44,000 have turned out now. That's 14 percent. Dems trail GOP by about 500 voters with nearly 37,000 cast by the majors. They are up to about 18 percent each now. Turnout in Washoe will easily be more than 30 percent.

Remember, too, that the rurals will make up about a quarter of the GOP vote, probably. We'll know more Monday.

I'll keep reminding you:

The 2020 pandemic primary that was almost all mail saw overall turnout of 30 percent. The last off-year primary, 2018, had 23 percent. We will beat both of those this year, but remember it is much more dependent on how many intense races there are (many on GOP side) and the wild-card mail ballot factor.

I am not saying no one knows nuthin' because I would never make such an admission. But...

Updated, June 8, 8:30 AM

Clark is now up to 105,000 voted (8 percent) -- 60,000 by mail and 45,000 in person. 5,100 voted in person Tuesday. Totals by party:

Republicans: 42,000 (13 percent) -- 24,000 in person and 18,000 mail

Democrats -- 48,000 (10 percent) -- 18,000 in person and 30,000 mail

Still think it's reasonable to project GOP turnout will be more than 30 percent when all is said and done and could get above the mid-30s.

In Washoe, turnout continues to be relatively robust, with 39,000 now having been tallied, or 12.5 percent. The parties are still virtually tied (GOP + 300 among 32,000 ballots cast by the majors) and each is at about 16,000.

Biggest in-person day so far for Washoe on Tuesday -- 1,700. 1,100 were GOP and 500 were Dems. Dems have consistently trailed by 2-to-1 margins in in-person there while Dems have had substantial leads in mail every day, but not quite as large.

Won't get definitive rural numbers until Monday from SOS, but turnout overall is going to be above 30 percent, maybe 35 percent, although this is more guesswork than usual because of the mail -- and perhaps, Victor Joecks submitting multiple ballots to boost a nervous Laxalt campaign.

More when I have it...

Updated, June 7, 8:15 AM

Nearly 5,000 voted in person in Clark on Monday, the highest total since Day One. Of those, 2,700 were Republicans and 1,700 were Democrats. Just under 40,000 have now voted in person in Clark, a little more than half of them are GOP. 43,000 or so mail ballots have been counted, with about half of those Dems.

The Clark totals: 35,000 Republican votes have been tallied and about 36,000 Dems. Overall turnout is 82,000, or 6 percent. GOP turnout is close to 11 percent; Dem turnout is just under 8 percent.

I remind you that GOP primary turnout in 2010 was 44 percent because of the intense contest for the right to lose to Harry Reid. Highly unlikely we get there this cycle, but in the 30-35 percent range is possible, depending just how many Republicans are waiting until a week from today to vote.

In Washoe, 1,400 people turned out in person -- easily the biggest day so far. Republicans led by more than 2 to 1. Overall turnout is 33,920, or about 11 percent. Dems and Repubs are about even in votes now, with the GOP sneaking into the lead by about 100 of 28,000 cast by the major parties.

Both parties are at about 14 percent turnout.

More when I have it...

Updated, June 6, 4:40 PM

Let there be rural numbers!

SOS has posted for week one here.

111,000 voted in all 17 counties in Week 1 -- 71,000 by mail and 40,000 in person. That's only 6 percent.

6,000 of those were rural in-person and 19,000 were rural mail. They are not so scared of mail in the rurals, after all! Rural turnout is about 23 percent of the total turnout, or about double what it usually is. GOP turnout in rurals is more than a third of the totals.

Who does that help? Joey Two Fists? I kid. Really. (Far too early.)

(Clark is 54 percent and Washoe is about 23 percent.)

Overall: GOP turnout is 57 percent in-person and Dem is 34 percent; GOP turnout by mail is 37 percent while Dem is 43 percent.

Just under 50,000 voters have cast ballots in GOP primaries, or about 9 percent. About 44,000 Dems have voted, or 7 percent. The rest are indies or others.

We probably won't get a comprehensive rural update again until the end of Week 2. But it's nice to have numbers.

Updated, June 6, 9:45 AM:

In his weekly newsletter on polling/voting data, GOP consultant Jeremy Hughes (the firm he works for is handling Joe Lombardo, Tisha Black and Jesse Haw) says he has rural data and 45,000 Republicans have voted so far, perhaps as many as 50,000 once all rural counties are tallied.

If it's 50,000, that's still only 9 percent, so nothing overly dramatic. But Hughes says what I have been telling you: With Clark sending out mail ballots later than others, it's hard to tell what the numbers mean so far, although he believes a third of active GOP voters will turn out.

Quoting from his "NV Data Dive" here:

Nearly 13,000 Republicans that have voted so far did not vote in the 2020 primary.

·      In Clark County, 1,384 Nonpartisans have switched parties in the last two weeks, mostly to Republican. Ultimately this was probably misregistered voters from the DMV. 

When looking at expected turnout I keep coming up with numbers close to 180,000 or 33% of registered Republicans.  

I had thought turnout could hit 200,000 and perhaps it still will, but Clark County ultimately mailed their ballots out later than other counties so we’re just starting to see those returns come in.   

Updated, June 6, 8:15 AM

Not much change in either urban venue because no mail on Sunday. The latest:

Clark: About 74,000 votes have been catalogued -- 30,000 Republicans and 33,000 Democrats. Just under 3,400 people voted Sunday -- 600 more Republicans than Democrats. Still no signs of an unusually high turnout; it's still under 6 percent.

Washoe: Just under 31,000, with only 700 total voting in person Sunday. Right at 10 percent overall.

It's all about the mail and Election Day, folks.

Hoping for rural numbers today. Hoping.

Updated, June 5, 11:15 AM:

Clark turnout is now up to 70,000 -- 39,000 in mail and 31,000 in-person after nearly 4,000 went to the polls Saturday. Total turnout is 5.3 percent in the South -- GOP turnout is 28,500 or a tad under 9 percent; Dem turnout is more than 31,500, or just below 7 percent. Repubs lead in early voting by 4,000 and Dems lead in in-person by 7,000.

It is hard to forecast what will happen because of all the mail, but in the all-mail pandemic primary two years ago, Dems cast 152,000 ballots and Repubs came in at 108,000. Will Clark get to 250,000-plus ballots cast by the major parties this time around? That is going to take a large influx of mail and a robust Election Day turnout -- not impossible, but hardly guaranteed.

Total Washoe turnout is now just under 30,000, or just under 10 percent. Dems are ahead by about 400 votes out of 25,000 cast by the major parties. Both parties are in the neighborhood of 12 percent.

So Washoe remains slightly above Clark, mostly because the county started counting mail ballots earlier. About 1,000 people, give or take, have been voting in person every day in Washoe. I doubt we will see a surge in that segment.

In the pandemic primary, just under 100,000 voted, including about 40,000 from each of the majors. That is going to be eclipsed this year and if it's by a lot, that could affect some races. How? I have no idea. Maybe Joey Gilbert knows.

In 2020, the ratio of Clark to Washoe in the primary was about 3 to 1. Right now, it is a little more than 2-to-1. Two and a half times as many Republicans turned out in Clark as in Washoe in 2020, and rural turnout among Republicans was about 9,000 more than Washoe.

Waiting For Rurals...

Updated, June 4, 10:30 AM

One week of data now in, folks. That is, we are halfway home on early voting.

Clark reports 3,700 people voted in person Friday -- 2,000 Republicans and 1,400 Dems. About 27,500 have voted early in-person during the first week -- 14,000 of them are Republicans casting votes in pivotal primaries on that side. For perspective, 41,000 Clark voters cast ballots in the last off-year election during Week One -- and there were very few compelling primaries that year outside of the Steve Sisolak vs. Chris Giunchigliani for governor. It's clear that mail balloting has tamped down in-person early voting.

About 32,000 mail ballots have now been counted in Clark -- 16,000 are Dems and only 10,500 are Repubs. The totals of mail and in-person: About 60,000, or 4.5 percent of the 1.3 million registered voters have turned out in the South. GOP turnout is 24,500, or 7.5 percent; Dem turnout is 27,000, or 6 percent.

Overall Clark turnout was 20 percent in 2018. Hard to tell what will happen on Election Day, but the numbers so far do not indicate a huge increase from that number. despite a likely spike in the second week of in-person voting. If a lot of Republicans are waiting to vote June 14, though, that could change.

As I have said ad infinitum, this is the first non-acute-pandemic primary in Nevada history with everyone getting a mail ballot AND Republicans trying to scare their flock about mail ballots.

In Washoe, turnout is now almost 27,000 in combined mail and in-person (the last four days have shown about the same number of voters, 1,100 or so, got to the polls). The Dems are ahead by 400 voters because they have more than 1.5 times the GOP turnout in the mail -- heckuva job Donald, Adam and Michael. Overall turnout in Reno and the environs is now just under 9 percent -- GOP is 10.5 percent and Dem is 11.3 percent. Just crazy that Dem turnout is higher -- thanks the aforementioned GOP Three Stooges.

One interesting stat, although I don't think it tells us much because of the new mail-ballot dynamic: In 2018, 11,000 people voted in person during the first week of early balloting in Washoe; it's a little more than half of that number this year, with many more reasons for Republicans to vote.

I still don't have too many reliable rural numbers -- grits teeth, mumbles invective toward SOS, believes most votes there won't come in until Election Day because of fear-mongering.

More when I have it...

Updated, June 3, 8:10 AM

Just over 3,400 Clark County voters cast ballots in person Thursday, with 1,800 of them Republicans and 1,300 Democrats. About 24,000 have now voted in person after six days, with about half of them GOP and 40 percent Dems.

The counted mail ballots so far are also at about 24,000, but the partisan breakdown is much different: More than 11,000 Dems and 8,000 Repubs.

Overall Clark turnout is now at about 4 percent. GOP turnout -- Republican primaries are where the action should be -- is at about 20,000 voters, or 6 percent.

Here is the latest on the two wacky southern GOP congressional primaries:

CD3: 7,500 Republicans have been tallied, or 6 percent

CD4: 6,000 Republican votes have been counted, or 6.3 percent

It's possible voting will pick up in the second week, and many Republicans may well be waiting for June 14 to vote in person. But there is no sign -- yet at least -- of super-GOP-enthusiasm in Clark.

In Washoe, 23,500 have now voted, or 7.5 percent. GOP turnout (9,300) is at 9 percent. That's not bad after six days and if the pattern continues -- or accelerates -- that could mean a very high number after all the ballots are counted.

Refreshing your memory of overall primary turnout in previous years:

2020 (all-mail): 30 percent

2018: 23 percent

2016: 19 percent

2014 (last red wave): 19 percent

2010 (crowded GOP primary to face Harry Reid): 30 percent

I say again: Primary turnout has little connection to general turnout and is more dependent on how many competitive and/or high-profile contests there are. I still think 2010 is the best baseline to look at for the GOP.

I still don't see any obvious patterns, which are usually hard to detect anyhow in primaries. I still think low turnout helps the kooks and higher helps the more normal candidates, although discerning which is which is not always easy....

More data when I get it.

Updated, June 2, 8:20 AM

Steady as she goes in Washoe, where the results Wednesday were nearly the same as Tuesday — 1,100 in-person voters with about twice as many Repubs as Dems. If you add mail ballots, nearly 20,000 people have already voted in Washoe and Dems (by 700) have a significant lead in turnout. Again, I say, heckuva job GOP "leaders" discouraging your folks from mailing ballots.

Turnout in Washoe is at about 6 percent. For comparison, in the last off-year election, 2018, the total number of ballots cast early, by mail and in-person was about 35,000. That number is going to be easily eclipsed, thanks to the mail ballots.

In Clark, the total is about 34,000 ballots cast — just under 14,000 by mail as many voters got theirs later in the South. It's 6,272 Dems to 5,014 Republicans in mail ballots, and remember, Dems have little to March to the polls for this cycle.

Just under 4,000 people vote in person Wednesday in Clark, with 700 more Republicans than Dems. So, yes, the scare tactics work in Clark, too, Chairman McDonald. Kudos.

In 2018, about 116,000 voters cast ballots in Clark before Election Day. Despite the slow going on mail ballots, I think that number will be surmounted by the end of the two-week period.

Still no rural data from the SOS, but a GOP operative informs me that about 2,800 GOP voters in the other 15 counties had cast ballots though Tuesday. Turnout does not seem unusually high in those counties, and I would guess the mail fright is most acute there.

More info when I get it...

Updated: June 1, 9:15 AM

Clark started counting mail ballots Tuesday, so the numbers bumped up. The totals of all votes are just over 20,000 ballots, or 1.5 percent. Of those, 3,718 are mail, meaning about 3,600 were added Tuesday. Remember, Clark voters got their ballots later than most, and the deluge is coming.

Dems and Repubs are about even in the heavily Dem county, so the GOP mail-scare-tactics may be at play here. Many skittish Repubs will wait until Election Day, even though the machines could be hacked by Italian satellites. Overall, Repubs have about a 1,300-vote advantage, including about 500 in Tuesday's in-person voting.

In Washoe, the Repubs have won decisively all four days of in-person voting but trail 5,893-5,412 because of a Dem advantage in mail. Washoe turnout is approaching 5 percent after four days — it is going to be very high for an off-year election if this keeps up.

Still looking for some rural numbers, so hit me up if you have them, favorite campaign operatives of mine. SOS has not been posting as it usually does, which probably will send the Marchantians into a frenzy.

One last thing this AM: One campaign operative tracking this closely says it's clear a bunch of indies switched to the GOP to vote in the primaries. I don't know who is more agitated this time of year — pundits ravenous for data or operatives nervous about turnout. Actually, I do know: I get to be sadistic and they have to worry about whether they will have a job post-June 14, unless they are a failing upwards operative like Rory "Look I won meaningless awards but lose general elections" McShane.

More data when I have it, folks...

Updated: May 31, 8:45 AM

Clark updated overnight and Repubs are still turning out in decent numbers in the South, with the caveat that almost no mail ballots have been tallied yet. On Monday, 1,706 Republicans and 1,79 Dem voted in person.

Clark totals for in-person after three days:

5,796 Republicans have turned out and 5,096 Democrats. (Only 1,198 nonpartisans if you care -- I don't, really.) There are 1.3 million registered voters in Clark, so this is very small turnout so far.

Washoe has been much more robust, and one source alerted me to the fact that more people have voted in the first three days than. in the first week in 2018: 12,038 to 11,247. Of course, there is much more robust mail voting now -- and that accounts for some of the bump. In another Washoe anomaly, Dems continue to outpace Repubs in Washoe: 5,090 to 4,443. Turnout in Washoe is at about 4 percent now.

If you are wondering about the three southern congressional races, turnout is at about 1 percent in all of them (GO:P turnout is slightly higher.). Republicans are ahead in all three, even though there is a Democratic primary in CD1. The numbers:

CD1: 1,844 to 1,714

CD3: 2,202 to 1,854

CD4: 1,750 to 1,500

I still think it's too early to say the turnout will be low or high, or hurt one candidate or another. More data when I get it -- and if anyone has rural numbers, send them my way.

Updated, May 30, 12:15 PM

Still not much data to go on,

Still not much data to go on, but here's the latest:


8,652 combined in person, including 4,090 Republicans and 3,689 Dems. That includes 1,537 Republicans and 1,302 Democrats on Saturday. (No change in mail totals, which are negligible so far.) Still well under 1 percent of the nearly 1.3 million Clark active voters.

It is quite possible that Republicans, spooked by their conspiracy-minded leaders, may vote in large numbers on June 14 -- or that the numbers will pick up after the holiday weekend.


Many more mail ballots returned in Washoe, with the total combined with in-person at 10,376 having cast ballots. The breakdown: 4,372 Democrats to 3,757 Republicans. Only 561 voted in person Sunday, about 60 percent of them GOP. But because of mail, Dems are ahead in a county with more Republicans and where there are many more reasons for GOP turnout to occur. The total Washoe turnout is about 3 percent.

Remember, in 2010, the GOP turnout almost got to 50 percent with that crowded race for the right to face Harry Reid. Nowhere near that kind of enthusiasm showing yet, but Clark mail could change that and I sense a much larger Primary Day turnout this cycle because of Republicans sowing fear about mail ballots.

More when I have it.

Updated, May 29, 2:45 PM

Washoe combined mail and in-person so far:

GOP: 3,330

Dem: 3,992

And here are some returned mail ballots from the rurals as of Friday evening, via a campaign source (the other numbers here so far are from official sources):

3,071 GOP
3,069 DEM

It's way too early to tell for sure, but these early numbers might indicate some hesitancy among Republicans to vote by mail. We will know more as Clark mail ballots pour in this week and as early voting progresses.

More numbers when I get them...


Welcome to the early voting blog, a tradition like no other.

Doing this kind of analysis for a primary is much different – and much more problematic – than doing it for a general, where partisan voting patterns can lead to inescapable conclusions. It is even more difficult this year because it is the first midterm primary where mail balloting will be prolific, if not dominant. (The law passed in 2021, after pandemic-affected elections in 2020, mandated every voter be sent a mail ballot.)

The only number I feel confident reporting to kick things off is that only 5,490 people voted in person in Clark on the first day, which is statistically insignificant to make any projections. There were 2,554 Republicans and 2,390 Democrats. I will report mail ballots returned – there are thousands already in Washoe and they will be coming in soon in Clark (only 138 so far)  – and partisan breakdowns when I get them. I’ll also report totals from the rurals when I get them, too.

Remember, too, that early voting is kicking off on a holiday weekend, which also could reduce totals. And it’s always harder to get information on any weekend from official authorities, although some are better than others.

Let’s set some baseline assumptions, which I reserve the right to change during the 14 days of early voting (but I will dutifully inform you if I do):

First, I expect Republican turnout to be much higher than Democratic turnout. There are few major races with high-profile or competitive primaries – lieutenant governor is the one exception and who gets excited to turn out for THAT? So with major primaries for governor and U.S. Senate, not to mention other constitutional offices having races, the Republicans should have more robust turnout. I caution, though, as I always do, that primary turnout is almost never a harbinger of general election turnout. Two different universes separated by six months of unpredictable events/trends. (in 2014, the last red wave year in Nevada, primary turnout was 19 percent.)

Second, the lower the turnout, the more likely weird things could happen. Joey Gilbert, for example, has the support of a fringe group of Republicans who probably will turn out. Joe Lombardo has broader support, so theoretically would benefit from a larger turnout. Same could be true down the ballot for the likes of Sigal Chattah for AG and Jim Marchant for SOS.

Third, predicting what the turnout will be is problematic. Usually I can use a past election as a baseline. For example, in 2010, with a multiway primary for the right to face Harry Reid, GOP turnout was abnormally high: 44 percent. I don’t sense quite the enthusiasm for this year’s primaries. But 2010 was not an election where it was so easy to vote – i.e. everyone has a mail ballot or will soon. During the pandemic in 2020, nearly 500,000, or 30 percent of the state’s voters, cast ballots. But this may not be apples to apples because there are more GOP primaries of interest this cycle. And we still don’t know how many GOP voters will be affected by the continued harping by GOP elected officials and candidates about the perils of mail voting.

I’ll update this blog with numbers as soon as I get them every day. And I’ll include any analysis based on the numbers and what the campaigns are saying.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at [email protected].


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