Registered Democrats turned out in force in Nevada’s largest counties, providing Clinton a critical boost in a state where polling aggregates show the former secretary of state and GOP nominee Donald Trump within a few points of one another.
Over 57,000 votes were cast in populous Clark County, a single-day record that propelled Democrats to a statewide ballot edge on par with results at the same point in 2012, when President Barack Obama won Nevada by nearly 7 points.
Turnout was strong throughout the day, and election officials pledged to keep polling places open as long as there were voters in line. At 9pm, hundreds were still waiting to vote at a Mexican supermarket in Las Vegas.
“Looks like Trump got his wall after all. A wall of beautiful voters,” wrote Yvanna Cancela of the local Culinary Union, which has played a key role in Democrats’ get-out-the-vote operations this year. That union also represents the workers who recently voted to organize Trump International hotel on the Vegas strip.
Democrats also overtook Republicans in Nevada’s second largest county, surrounding Reno, which has historically been closely contested.
Returns in Nevada and several other states with early voting ― including Florida, Colorado, Georgia and Arizona ― have shown large turnout increases among Latino voters. In Florida, as of Friday, Latino in-person voting was up over 150 percent from the same time in 2012.
Trump has a rally in Reno planned for Saturday evening, though The New York Times reported that “strategists in both parties were somewhat puzzled by the trip” since early voting has already ended.
Winning there may simply be essential for Trump. If Clinton takes Nevada, she could lose all of the other current swing states ― Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Iowa, Arizona and Georgia ― and still win the presidency, assuming the non-battleground states do not shift.