By Bert Eljera
LAS VEGAS – With just two days left before the end of early voting in Nevada, Democrats are leading Republicans 45 percent to 38 percent, giving President Obama the edge over Mitt Romney going into the November 6 Election Day.
As of the latest count from the secretary of state’s office, 533,064 people had voted statewide, which is about 42 percent of the state’s electorate.
Of those, 235,514 were registered Democrats, while registered Republicans numbered 200,678. Other registrants, including independents, totaled 96,872.
The Democrats had a 90,000-registration advantage going into the early voting period, which began October 20. Republicans have been steadily catching up as more party members went out to vote.
One of Wednesday’s early voters was Sen. Harry Reid, the U.S. Senate majority leader, who figured in an accident Friday at a Las Vegas freeway.
In his first public appearance since that accident, Reid told the Las Vegas Sun, “I’m OK,” while rubbing the right side of his rib cage, where he said he was still sore.
“There’s not much I can’t do, except I’m not much of a hugger,” he said.
Reid was involved in a five-car pileup Friday in the northbound lanes of Interstate 15, near the Sahara Avenue exit.
The senator said that he expects that turn-out for the early voting would reach about 70 percent of the electorate.
To meet that prediction, by Election Day, more than 350,000 Nevadans will have to vote between now and the close of early voting Friday, November 2.
Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller said that nearly half a million people have so far turned out to vote in person, by mail, and by absentee ballot.
Miller said more than 45 percent of those voters were registered Democrats while 37 percent were registered Republicans. Another 17.8 percent marked “none” or “other.”
Obama won Nevada, which has six electoral college votes, in 2008 over John McCain with more than 120,000 votes.
“Turnout is good, and we expect by Election Day to have about 70 to 75 percent of the vote already in,” Reid said.
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