Turnout “not tremendously heavy”?

posted at 2:37 pm on May 6, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Uh-oh. If this holds up, Barack Obama may not have such a great day after all in North Carolina. According to the elections director and in opposition to the early reports from the precincts, voter turnout has not been all that remarkable:

Few problems were reported Tuesday as voters cast ballots in presidential and state primaries that were expected to break turnout records.

State elections director Gary Bartlett said turnout was “steady … not tremendously heavy.” The presidential nomination seemed to overshadow primaries for governor, Senate and statewide office.

This comes in an update to a story by WRAL that had predicted twice the normal turnout. This makes sense anyway, since North Carolina rarely has much of an impact on presidential primaries, and the large turnout was thought to favor Barack Obama. A smaller turnout might indicate a loss of momentum for Obama or perhaps election fatigue overall.

Polls close in a few hours, and we’ll find out whether Bartlett is proven correct or the media’s predictions instead. (h/t: Southern Gent)

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We’ll have to see what happens with the after-work crowd.

amerpundit on May 6, 2008 at 2:40 PM

heavy black turnout plus moderate overall turnout = disaster for Hillary. Let’s hope the anecdotal evidence of the former is wrong.

BuzzCrutcher on May 6, 2008 at 2:42 PM

Ruh-Roh Shaggy!

jjshaka on May 6, 2008 at 2:42 PM

In what many consider the most meaningful North Carolina primary in years, voters will choose between a black candidate and a female candidate – both veteran politicians – for the Democratic nomination for president to face John McCain in November.

Both “veteran politicians”?


RushBaby on May 6, 2008 at 2:45 PM

just voted here in north carolina. was in and out in 5 minutes, maximum.

therightwinger on May 6, 2008 at 2:45 PM

From WCNC TV Charolette

Millions of North Carolinians are expected to vote today, setting record turnouts. . Nearly half a million people voted early or cast an absentee ballots before Tuesday arrived — more than half the total number of voters who cast a ballot overall during the 2004 primary.

Gary Bartlett, director of the State Board of Elections, said 85 percent of unaffiliated voters were choosing the Democratic ballot.

William Amos on May 6, 2008 at 2:49 PM

just voted here in north carolina. was in and out in 5 minutes, maximum.

therightwinger on May 6, 2008 at 2:45 PM

More importantly, Hill or BO??

kcd on May 6, 2008 at 2:49 PM

Why watch a pot when you can … oops, wrong Web site!

mymanpotsandpans on May 6, 2008 at 2:50 PM

If I were a Democrat, I wouldn’t be excited about voting either. It’s a choice between a liar (“I dodged sniper fire in Bosnia”) and another liar (“I wasn’t in church to hear Wright’s racist rants”.) The dems can’t come up with someone better than those two clowns?

themediansib on May 6, 2008 at 2:52 PM

You have to break turnout down by precinct and then factor in the early voting totals by precinct to determine if this is good or bad for Obama. Lower turnout in the African-American areas obviously wouldn’t be a good sign, but if it’s down across the board, then the reported heavy early-voting turnout among blacks in N.C. could carry him across the finish line.

jon1979 on May 6, 2008 at 2:54 PM

I had a hunch this might happen. People who would have voted for Barack Obama before the latest Wright stuff incident might be staying home. Whether it’s political — they question BO’s judgement — or personal — people in the Bible belt may question casting your pastor under the bus — the world may never know.

Spc Steve on May 6, 2008 at 2:54 PM

I wonder if people are starting to get tired of it all. I am sure the media isn’t. But regalar people might be getting bored with the whole thing.

Terrye on May 6, 2008 at 2:56 PM

Off topic:

On this election eve, nothing like settling down with a good heart warming movie raw meat.

Obviously a hit piece but nonetheless totally rich and completely enjoyable.

Hillary: The Movie
Hillary The Movie Uses Hillary Rodham Clintons own words and deeds to expose her record of cynicism, controversy, and scandal. This new documentary illustrates that the politics of personal destruction is Hillary s favored approach to dealing with anyone who stands in her way. The film includes 30 in-depth interviews with experts and opinion makers.

moxie_neanderthal on May 6, 2008 at 2:57 PM

Considering early voting was 40% black, I’d think low turnout would actually help him.

Typhonsentra on May 6, 2008 at 2:58 PM

All I can say is that those 40% are gonna be real mad when Hillary “takes” the nomination.

bloggless on May 6, 2008 at 3:14 PM

All I can say is that those 40% are gonna be real mad when Hillary “takes” the nomination.

bloggless on May 6, 2008 at 3:14 PM

That aint no lie. Funny how both of these nut jobs are “uniters, not dividers”.


saiga on May 6, 2008 at 3:20 PM

I live in “The Buckle on the Bible Belt”. I would be more likely to applaud than castigate someone for denouncing his minister when that minister had performed like Mr. Wright. The thing that would turn me off isn’t the “throwing him under the bus” part, but the sitting in the pews for 20 years and giving tacit approval to him. If it were the Republican candidate, I would simply refuse to vote for him or her.

Buford Gooch on May 6, 2008 at 3:21 PM

Well, I voted for the first time ever (based on a promise I made myself). I will say that I am registered unaffiliated and I did not vote for McCain. That’s all I’ll say about that.

The main reason I was voting was to vote down 500 Billion dollars (half a TRILLION) in school bonds for ONE COUNTY. Illegal aliens have a way of turning our schools into day care centers. We have jail bonds too (thanks illegals). I voted NO to everything. They have enough money. . . if they didn’t waste so much money they’d have more.

ThackerAgency on May 6, 2008 at 3:28 PM

I talked to my wife who voted during the lunch hour. We live in a predominantly black district, and she said there was no wait. 2 of the voting booths were open, so she was in and out. She also said the place was mobbed by Obama supporters hovering just outside the ‘no campaigning’ zone.

JeffC_95 on May 6, 2008 at 3:33 PM

She also said the place was mobbed by Obama supporters hovering just outside the ‘no campaigning’ zone.

JeffC_95 on May 6, 2008 at 3:33 PM

Any exit pollsters mingling with the Obamites?

forest on May 6, 2008 at 3:35 PM

Buford Gooch on May 6, 2008 at 3:21 PM

Oh, I wholehartedly agree with you. But there’s something more to it, given that it is very much tied to the American black church — whether or not Wright is actually representative of that institution. It becomes a race issue, a cultural issue. Consider the attitude of black culture in North Carolina during the Duke rape case. Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton could walk into nearly any black church in NC and say just about anything without fear of reprisal. If I recall correctly, they did. But now there’s a sense of unease in that stalwart of BO’s camp. They wonder, how far they can push their agenda, if indeed they have one, before they feel the rubber smacking them in the face?

Spc Steve on May 6, 2008 at 3:39 PM

people with jobs still haven’t voted ..we shall see. hmm….

redrock on May 6, 2008 at 3:41 PM


Not that I know of, but I did not specifically ask her.

JeffC_95 on May 6, 2008 at 3:45 PM

saiga: Funny how both of these nut jobs are “uniters, not dividers”.

“Unite” means “my way or the highway.” What’s so hard to understand about that?

NeighborhoodCatLady on May 6, 2008 at 3:53 PM

I guess Barack will let people stay in their comfort zones after all.

Nosferightu on May 6, 2008 at 3:53 PM

I think Hillary may pull NC out of the hat, or at least only lose by 4%.
Polls are light, and the “real” voters haven’t voted yet, the Obama zealots have shot their wad.

right2bright on May 6, 2008 at 4:04 PM

NOT that I expect it to be mentioned – let alone repeatedly – in the MSM or elsewhere, but only a few weeks ago it was reported that The Obamboozler has a 20-point margin over Hillary Clinton.

That it had dropped as of this morning to 1.5% (meaning “we don’t know,” in the pollsters’ parlance margin of error) – as I understand – is an eye-opener.

Can’t wait to see how it goes…even IF he squeaks out a minor “win” over HRC in N.C., THAT’S the LOSS OF THE PRIMARIES for me: North Carolina?!? Hillary Clinton a contender?!!!!!!!? Bwahahahhahahah……

Lockstein13 on May 6, 2008 at 4:15 PM

Either way the MSM will be yelling for HC to get out of the race.

jukin on May 6, 2008 at 4:17 PM

Turnout “not tremendously heavy”?

Now thick ticket would be voter turn out gold

Mojack420 on May 6, 2008 at 6:11 PM

I voted after work…the lady at my place said it’s been steady, but not overwhelming in accordance with the article. She laughed when I told her I wanted a democrat ticket and for her to pray god to forgive me later one…lol. She literally laughed out loud.

SouthernGent on May 6, 2008 at 6:52 PM

I voted around 2:30 and there was only one other voter there.

nottakingsides on May 6, 2008 at 6:58 PM

Obama is a Racist and a Marxist.
Michelle Obama hates America.
The Clintons are Liars, opportunists and Grifters.
The Socialists offer no good choices.
They are not Democrats, they are Socialists.

The Republicans offer “open borders” John McCain.

No acceptable choices here!

old trooper on May 7, 2008 at 6:26 AM