In 2008, Obama took most of the Independents. This data shows Independents with 19% of the early vote or 134,000. If Romney takes even 35% of those, he is virtually tied with Obama in early voting (assuming that in early voting Dems are voting for Obama and Reps are voting for Romney).
Obama's campaign made early voting a big part of its ground game. If they've shot the "whole load" in early voting, then Romney has more than a fighting chance here.
In 2008, Obama got 379,000 votes in Clark County and McCain got 256,000. In 2008, Obama won Clark County 58% to 40% for McCain.
In 2012 early voting, Dems register 231,000 votes in Clark County and Republicans register 161,000.
That adds some perspective.
We need Barone to break this down.
My guess is that it’s a bit of an uphill climb for Romney. Best guess has him down about 12,000 votes or so if you factor in crossover of R+3 and an R+7 or so advantage with Independents in early voting.
From a raw total, the Rats are up about 50,000 votes.
Romney will need to win the Election Day vote by about four points in order to eke out a win there.
Doable, but very difficult.