Thursday, October 23, 2008

A word about early voting

Zogby says that Obama has a 22 percent lead among early voters. Gallup is tracking the number of people who already have voted, and he says 10 percent of all registered voters already have voted. In the past three elections, the percentages of voters who voted are these:

1996 58.4% of registered voters went to the polls
2000 59.5% of registered voters went to the polls
2004 63.8% of registered voters went to the polls

My guess is that we will remain at least even with 2004, but the historic nature of this election may bring out a still greater percentage of voters. If we assume that we will see the same rate of increase in 2008 over 2004 that we saw in 2004 over 2000, about 68.4% of registered voters will go the polls in 2008. These assumptions would suggest that somewhere between 14.6% and 15.7% of the electorate that will cast ballots already has voted.

If Zogby is correct about Obama's 22-point margin in early voting, it means he must have something like 61% of the early vote compared to 39% of McCain's early vote. These assumptions, and they are wild guesses, would indicate that Obama is wracking up totals in early voting that will allow his margin a lot of comfort for tightening in the national polls as we approach election day, should that occur.


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