There’s good news for Hillary Clinton in early voting totals from two swing states today: Turnout in Nevada and in two big Ohio counties is bouncing back to 2012 levels.
These early voting totals are important for two reasons. Early voting in Nevada means Clinton’s team will have an advantage that could help them hold the state. And in Ohio, turnout catching up to 2012 levels suggests that Clinton’s bad week isn’t stopping Democrats from showing up to vote for her.
And early voting tends to be a good indicator of voter enthusiasm on Election Day — another good sign for Clinton.
Nevada: Democrats are going to have a big advantage on Election Day
Most of Nevada’s votes are cast before Election Day, and the state reports ballots returned by party. That makes it easier than it is in other places to tell who’s winning. After a big day for Democrats on Wednesday, they’re up by about 55,000 returned ballots in Clark County, home to Las Vegas — meaning Democrats have now matched their performance in early voting in 2012, Jon Ralston reports.
Wow. Dems win big today in Clark, nearly 5,000-voter edge. Was 4,000 on this day in 2012. Clark firewall now at 55,000. https://t.co/kLgRDHHHRX— Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports) November 3, 2016
Turnout in Clark County is down 5 percentage points from 2012. But Clinton will go into election night with a double-digit lead over Trump. If the Democrats perform well in the home stretch, Ralston says, their “firewall” could get to the same levels as 2012, when Barack Obama won Nevada by more than 6 points.
Ohio: Big, Democratic-leaning counties are finally catching up on early voting — but the news is more mixed
Early voting got off to a slow start in Ohio, and early results looked bad for Clinton — areas that voted Republican in 2012 were requesting far more ballots, while the populous Democratic areas that helped Obama carry the state in 2012 were requesting fewer.
But now those areas are catching up. Early voting in Cuyahoga County (home to Cleveland) and Franklin (home to Columbus) is getting closer to 2012 levels, although it’s still lagging behind, particularly in Cuyahoga:
OH: Cuyahoga and Franklin continue to surge back to '12 levels. Chart shows share of EV/AV relative to '12 final share from 10/20 to 11/2. pic.twitter.com/IL6rKgdBnh— Tom Bonier (@tbonier) November 3, 2016
This might not be all good news for Clinton. The Columbus Dispatch reports the overall Cuyahoga numbers conceal that Republicans are doing better in the county than in 2012 — their early ballot totals are up, while Democrats’ have fallen. Still, early voting is what helped carry Ohio for Obama in 2012, so any indication that Democratic-leaning counties are voting the same way they did then is at least slightly reassuring to Clinton’s team.