Early voting favoring GOP

posted at 9:15 am on October 23, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Jim Geraghty got an e-mail from a reader who crunched the numbers thus far in the early-voting states, and the news looks pretty encouraging so far from the GOP.  Comparing the numbers from 2008, Geraghty’s reader says that in seven key states, Republicans have improved their performance in turnout for early voting thus far by almost 15 points, a stunning turnaround and one that may put the likely-voter models used by even the best pollsters in doubt.  The smallest gain is 4.2% in West Virginia, where even Democrats are breaking towards the GOP, to a 27-point gain in Florida, where over half of all early voting has been Republicans.

Both Florida and West Virginia are key states, but there are a couple more on Jim’s list.  In Colorado, where voters have to choose a governor and a Senator, Republican ballots increased over 7 points from the 2008 early voting.  That will be good news for Ken Buck for his Senate race and perhaps even Tom Tancredo in his independent bid for governor, both in tight races.  In Nevada, the Clark County vote (which includes Las Vegas) shows an increase of 7 points for Republicans, and in Washoe County (Reno, Tahoe) the GOP have increased over 11 points in early-voting turnout. That’s good news for Sharron Angle, and really bad news for Harry Reid.

Pollsters expected a more robust Republican turnout in 2010 than in 2008, of course.  In analyzing most of their likely-voter models in the last few weeks, it’s clear that they didn’t expect a +15 in the gap from 2008.  Many of them have been arguing that Democrats had begun closing that gap in the last two weeks.  Assuming that holds up not just in early voting but also in Election Day turnout (as well as absentee ballots, which get counted on Election Day and not as early voting), then most of the likely-voter models will have significantly underestimated the Republican wave, even apart from the right turn of the independents.  Even if GOP turnout on Election Day turns out to be half as significant, the likely voter models will still have left the polls short of the amplitude of the wave that’s coming.

Update: The Washington Post looks instead at Michigan and California and come to a different conclusion:

In an election year when good news has been scarce for Democrats, anxious party strategists are heartened by at least one development: In states that have started voting, early indications are that Democratic turnout could be stronger than expected.

Despite the much-discussed “enthusiasm gap,” early balloting suggests that the voter turnout engine that Barack Obama revved up in 2008 has not sputtered out entirely, according to the Atlas Project, a Democratic consulting firm that analyzed voter data.

The firm told its clients Friday that early ballots in the 17 states where voting has been sufficient to draw historical comparisons show a partisan balance that looks very much like that in 2006, the year Democrats took back the House and the Senate.

This is a different measure than Jim’s e-mailer uses, which was 2008 — a presidential election in which Democrats turned out strongly.  The Post focuses on California, which should have been safely Democrat if normal trends held:

In California, the Atlas Project’s analysis suggests that Democrats account for 42.9 percent of the more than 1 million ballots cast thus far, which means they are running slightly ahead of the 41.4 percent they got in 2006. By comparison, Republicans have cast an estimated 39.7 percent of the early California ballots, which is down slightly from the 40.9 percent they got four years ago.

However, Republicans in California note that Democratic registration overall has grown dramatically in the state. Democrats now have a 13-point edge, which is five points more than it was four years ago.

One thing is certainly true — we’re going to know for sure in ten days.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Gabe on October 23, 2010 at 9:28 AM
Get Foxfire. I have not even seen the ads you refer to.

IowaWoman on October 23, 2010 at 1:27 PM

And I AM bitter at What’s-his-name for stealing them from us many years ago. Thanks to Baltimore’s old Memorial Stadium for its hospitality for several years.)

Kevin K. on October 23, 2010 at 1:02 PM

I believe you are referring to Tom Vandergriff, a visionary, and all around good guy. He should accompany W to the plate for the first pitch, if his health permits.

As I recall, the Senators were, not appreciated in Washington, but bigwigs fought the move the whole way. The Rangers have been supported in the metroplex during the bad times, as well as the good. All the while being treated as second class to the Cowboys, or mavericks…how is that looking this year. And Cuban is a grade A A$$ for getting in the middle of the sale, then wanting a kickback for jacking up the price.

cozmo on October 23, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Totally off-topic, but you’ve got to see this. At an Illinois debate between Pelosi-democrat Rep. Melissa Bean and conservative Joe Walsh, an audience asks the League of (democrat) Women Voters moderator if they’ll be saying the Pledge of Allegiance before the debate. She, of course, says hell no. So…the audience stands up and recites it anyway! Awesome

Rational Thought on October 23, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Not totally off topic. I enjoyed it. Its on YouTube

Video of the event

Here is the moderator (a teacher) being asked why she said the audience disrespected her by saying the Pledge of Allegiance

Normally pols fall over backwards to do the pledge at grass roots events but this event was hosted by a league of women-teacher voters

The moderator/teacher said students had planned out the debate. The question is, why students were not taught by their teachers the standard forum of such debates. The pledge is a civilizing factor, in lieu of genuine prayer before the audience gets warmed up

The pledge is like a handshake before sparring. If the audience cannot agree on allegiance to America, might as well find that out before a debate about who runs America

Makes you wonder what these kids have been taught

entagor on October 23, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Totally off-topic, but you’ve got to see this. At an Illinois debate between Pelosi-democrat Rep. Melissa Bean and conservative Joe Walsh, an audience asks the League of (democrat) Women Voters moderator if they’ll be saying the Pledge of Allegiance before the debate. She, of course, says hell no. So…the audience stands up and recites it anyway! Awesome

Rational Thought on October 23, 2010 at 12:46 PM

You Tube Video of the event

Fantastic! Thank you for posting the link. This really needs to go viral. More Americans need to know that it’s OK to support your country, regardless of what the libs tell you.

bofh on October 23, 2010 at 2:28 PM

Eerly voting numbers have dems in diapers.

Schadenfreude on October 23, 2010 at 4:10 PM

FL – early numbers strong for…Charlie, nah, check it out.

Schadenfreude on October 23, 2010 at 4:12 PM

I’m voting early
So I can Get Out The Vote!
I’m busy that day!

Haiku Guy on October 23, 2010 at 4:47 PM

I’m voting early so I can vote more often!!! /Dem

mockmook on October 23, 2010 at 5:21 PM

Michigan doesn’t have early voting.

evie on October 23, 2010 at 8:44 PM

The same is true in Michigan, where the proportion of early voters who are African American has increased from 8.2 percent in 2006 to 11 percent so far in 2010, according to Atlas Project figures.

From WaPo…other than absentee ballots…there is NO early voting in Michigan…not now, and not in 2006.

evie on October 23, 2010 at 8:46 PM

While some states allow all voters to cast ballots prior to Election Day, Michigan does not have early voting. Of course, qualified Michigan voters can …
http://www.michigan.gov/…/0,1607,7-127-1633_11619-123989–,00.html -

evie on October 23, 2010 at 8:49 PM

And 38.7 percent of all cited percentages are made up on the spot…

Tennman on October 23, 2010 at 11:18 PM

Republicans in California note that Democratic registration overall has grown dramatically in the state.

No one’s stopping the illegal aliens from registering new voters for US elections amongst their own non-citizen populations.

maverick muse on October 24, 2010 at 5:57 AM

Republicans in California note that Democratic registration overall has grown dramatically in the state.
No one’s stopping the illegal aliens from registering new voters for US elections amongst their own non-citizen populations.

maverick muse on October 24, 2010 at 5:57 AM

“Motor voter” rears its ugly head…

Khun Joe on October 24, 2010 at 8:57 PM

One little, two little, three little Democrats, four little, five little, six little Democrats….seven little, eight little, nine little Demopets…TEN LITTLE Demopet boys!

Folks, it’s clear in what to do…vote out all the Demopets and their masters!

Mcguyver on October 24, 2010 at 11:03 PM

The Texas Rangers are in the World Series!..:) Folks this could be the start of a game changing November 3..:)

Dire Straits on October 23, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Might be good for Texas, but if NaYawkahs aren’t watching the Yankees on TV, they might show up at the voting booth for the Democrats.

Steve Z on October 25, 2010 at 10:25 AM

Portland Maine residents will vote Nov. 2 on a proposal to give legal residents who are not U.S. citizens the right to vote in local elections, joining places like San Francisco and Chicago that have already loosened the rules or are considering it.

maverick muse on October 25, 2010 at 11:55 AM

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