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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Early voting - Huge (Reposted)

If you take a quick peruse of some of the early voting stats some of them are jawdropping, like Colorado, "In Colorado, 46 percent of the electorate (registered voters) has already voted."

Frankly, in most of the key states, Dem early voting outweighs Repub early voting (sometimes substantially,) but I thought I'd offer two caveats before you start doing your happy dance.

1) When you see a poll citing early voting breakdowns favoring Obama, like this CBS poll tonight, be a bit cautious. The overall sample is only 1,000, so the early voting subset of the poll is likely 200-300, hardly an adequate size to provide bankable data.

On the other hand, when you see early vote TOTALS broken down by party, that's probably pretty reliable, like this from Fla,
This year, early voting numbers are even higher - 46.9% of the total 2004 vote - and Dems exceed Republicans; 45.6% of early voters are Dems, 37.8% are Republicans.

2) It's not yet clear whether these huge early voter numbers presage a concomitant increase in overall turnout, or whether they are just enthusiastic Obama voters displacing their election day turnout to early voting. (My hunch is that it is a bit of both.)

That being said, you'd much rather have the problem of worrying about what your early voting lead means than knowing you're not in the lead, you know?

Also: The "bible" of early voting stats is Michael McDonald at GMU. He is tallying the Secretary of State supplied early voting numbers from all 50 states. Best raw data out there.

One of the most interesting stats on his page is the percent of 2004 voters who have voted early this time. (North Carolina 66%, NM 61%, Nevada 65+%, Georgia 60%, Florida 46%, Colorado 68%.) It's mindblowing.


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