RENO — Republicans made some inroads into Democrats' voter registration edge in Nevada last year but Democrats still hold a significant advantage of more than 76,000 active voters.
Democrats led by more than 97,000 registered voters last January, with about 595,000 to the GOP's 498,000.
But the end of year numbers posted by the Secretary of State's Office show that as of Jan. 1, the advantage has shrunk to about 76,000 — or 565,904 Democrats and 489,674 Republicans.
The total number of active registered voters statewide dipped from 1.5 million in January 2017 to 1.46 million last month as Nevada gears up for a key off-year election.
U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., is trying to fend off a GOP primary challenge from Danny Tarkanian, while U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen has mounted a Democratic bid for the seat that could determine control of the Senate next fall.
The 4th Congressional District seat currently held by freshman Rep. Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., will become open to contenders after he announced he will not seek re-election because he has been caught up in a House Ethics Committee investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct.
While President Donald Trump won several traditionally Democratic battleground states in 2016, Hillary Clinton won in Nevada — the first time since the 1940s that Democrats have carried the Silver State in three consecutive presidential elections
Democrats now make up 38.7 percent of the state's active voters, Republicans 33.5 percent, non-partisans 21.3 percent, the Independent American Party 4.4 percent, Libertarians 1 percent and other parties combined 1.1 percent.
The only party that showed a year-end gain in active voter registration entering 2018 in Nevada was the Libertarian Party, which added 236 for 14,184. Nonpartisans fell from 314,450 to 311,411, Independent Americans from 66,031 to 64,664 and other from 17,304 to 15,973.
Clark County — the state's most populous and home to Las Vegas — is the only one of the state's 17 counties where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans. But 70 percent of all active registered voters in Nevada live in the county. Democrats outnumber Republicans 42 percent to 29 percent (433,929 to 299,993)
The breakdown in party affiliation is close in Washoe County, which includes Reno and Sparks, where Republicans lead Democrats 104,427 to 100,017.
The GOP enjoys more than a 2-to-1 margin in several rural counties and has a 3-to-1 lead in some places, including Elko County where there are more than 12,000 active registered Republicans and fewer than 4,000 Democrats, and Churchill County with about 7,600 Republicans and 2,400 Democrats.
Douglas County outside Carson City has about 17,900 Republicans and 7,600 Democrats.