Can you spot the wee error in this state of the race video starring Jim Messina, President Barack Obama‘s campaign manager?
OK, here it is: When he’s talking about Nevada, Messina mistakenly says “Democrats have the largest registration advantage ever in Nevada, up 15 percent compared to 2008.” And while Democrats do have 90,187 more active registered voters than Republicans in Nevada this year, they actually had a larger advantage in 2008: 100,723 voters.
I’m certainly no math whiz, but that looks to me like 10,536 fewer voters, or a decrease of 10.46 percent since 2008.
And you’d think that’s something the Obama team would know, given that the 2008 campaign against Hillary Clinton was the reason for the huge voter numbers in 2008.
(Democrats did make gains over 2010 registration, when the gap was 60,187 voters. But that’s an increase of 33 percent, not 15 percent.)
UPDATE: I’m reliably told that the Obama campaign is using different numbers to arrive at their totals. Instead of using only “active voters,” (the statistics I consistently use when reporting on voter-registration numbers), the campaign is using “all voters,” (which combine active and inactive voters). By that measure, Messina is correct: The Democratic advantage in 2008 was 111,505, and this year it’s risen to 130.455. However, I continue to believe that active registered voters is a far more accurate statistic, and I’ll continue to use that on this blog and elsewhere when writing about voter-registration numbers.