Early voting: GOP turnout unusually high in key Nevada counties

As a lefty blogger might say, soon it’ll be time to party like it’s 1732. I mean, er, 1754. 1768, maybe? Ah, whatever.

Early-voting numbers out of Nevada’s two biggest counties could spell trouble for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in his tough contest against Republican Sharron Angle.

In Reno’s Washoe County and Las Vegas’s Clark County, Republican turnout was disproportionately high over the first three voting days, according to local election officials. The two counties together make up 86 percent of the state’s voter population…

Some 47 percent of early voters in the bellwether Washoe County so far have been Republicans, while 40 percent have been Democrats, according to the Washoe County Registrar. Nearly 11,000 people had voted in Washoe over the first three days of early voting, which began Saturday.

“This makes for a pretty significant uphill battle for Democrats,” Las Vegas-based Republican consultant Ryan Erwin said. “It’s still early, but we’re seeing that the enthusiasm gap is certainly real in Washoe County, especially when you factor in that Clark County Republicans are overperforming as well.”

In Clark County, there were actually more Democrats at the polls than Republicans, but not as many as there usually are — 46/39 this year compared to a 46/33 split in the county’s registration rolls. And virtually all of the rural counties in the state outside Clark and Washoe are expected to go heavily for Angle, so these are the two where Dingy Harry needs to bank a big lead. The question now: Should she lie low until the end of the campaign and let the trends (hopefully) play out or keep on stumpin’ on the theory that nothing can be taken for granted? Normally I’d push for the latter but I think we’ve all spent enough time on this particular highwire. To wit: Telling a class of Hispanic kids, “Some of you look a little more Asian to me”? Dude? Time to run out the clock!