Enough to warm the cockles of my heart…posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:56 PM Permalink …even though I have no idea what cockles are and what function they play in the heart, are the reports coming back from states which have early voting, and in which the majority of early voters have broken for the Democratic Party.
From a most excellent post from the Huffington Post titled, "Early Voting Information, Polls":
These are just the highlights. The rest of the posting gives further, though not as comprehensive, breakdowns in several states. Invariably the majority of early votes are breaking for the Democratic Party nominee, Barrack Obama.
From the ABC/Washington Post tracking poll:
More than twelve million voters have already cast ballots in the presidential contest, according to one estimate, and new data from the Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll shows these voters breaking Democratic by a wide margin.
Among those who said they have already voted at an early voting location or sent in an absentee ballot, Barack Obama picked up 60 percent of the vote in the new poll to John McCain's 39 percent.
These voters make up 9 percent of "likely" voters in the track.
The senator from Illinois has a similar lead, 58 to 39 percent, among those who plan to vote early but have not yet. (Those who plan to vote on Election Day also go for Obama, but by a narrower, 51 to 45 percent.)
The voter preferences of the group of 1,430 individuals who have already voted and who were interviewed by Gallup between Oct. 17 and Oct. 27 show a 53% to 43% Obama over McCain tilt.
Among the group of those who say they have not yet voted, but will before Election Day, the skew towards Obama is more pronounced, at 54% to 40%. By comparison, those who are going to wait to vote on Nov. 4 manifest a narrower 50% to 44% Obama over McCain candidate preference. (Across all registered voters over this time period, Obama leads McCain by a 51% to 43% margin).
As of Tuesday, at least 9,813,052 ballots had been cast in 31 states that allow early, in-person or absentee voting without having to provide an excuse. The figures are based on reports from state election officials.
Of those votes, at least 1.2 million ballots have been cast by registered Democrats and at least 731,200 by registered Republicans.
As with early voting statistics in every state -- these are not election results. Voters who are registered with a political party don't always vote for that party's candidates.
But the numbers suggest that this election is shattering traditional early voting patterns reflected by years of data. Historically, more Republicans than Democrats have taken part in early voting.
Some analysis of early trends from Nate Silver:
According to Michael McDonald's terrific website, there are three states in which early voting has already exceeded its totals from 2004. These are Georgia, where early voting is already at 180 percent of its 2004 total, Louisiana (169 percent), and North Carolina (129 percent).
Hmm ... can anybody think of something that those three states have in common?
The African-American population share is the key determinant of early voting behavior. In states where there are a lot of black voters, early voting is way, way up. In states with fewer African-Americans, the rates of early voting are relatively normal.
This works at the county level too. In Cuyahoga County, Ohio (Cleveland), which about 30 percent black, twice as many people have already voted early as in all of 2004. In Franklin County (Columbus), which is about 18 percent black and also has tons of students, early voting is already about 3x its 2004 total.
This conforms to a theory I have had for a while, that with early voting allowing people to vote on their own schedules, there cannot be all the usual Republican dirty tricks of placing a much lower number of voting machines and staff in districts leaning Democratic and placing Republican staff at the Democratic leaning precincts to challenge or outright intimidate Democratic voters.
It also reflects the fact that this time Barack Obama showed the party how to win elections: don't get down in the slime and mud when your opposition does, build grassroots support using the internet to collect a massive war chest, and organizing workers in all fifty states to get out the vote. In other words he has beaten the Republicans at their own game and done so with style, grace, a sense of humor, and by espousing commonsense policies that the majority of American have longed for way to long.
And it doesn't hurt that his opponent is a flip-flopping, unprincipled, dirty rotten prick either, does it?