Saturday, October 18, 2008

Is Obama Winning in Early Voting in Georgia? (Part II)

The frenzy of voting in Georgia continues. On Tuesday, I reported that an extraordinary amount of voting already had occurred in Georgia. By that day, 499,582 persons had cast early ballots; that was already a total of 75,000 more early voters than we had seen during the entire 2004 early voting cycle in Georgia. As of yesterday, just three days later, Georgia's Election Division had recorded 136,216 more ballots; in other words, the number of early ballots cast by Friday was more than 27 percent greater than the number of ballots cast on Tuesday.

There are some breathtaking comparisons between 2008 and 2004. As of Friday, 211,000 more voters had cast their ballots fully 18 days before the election than had cast their ballots during the entire early voting cycle in 2004: about 50 percent more early voters to date in Georgia than early voters in the entire early voting cycle last election. Indeed, early votes October 17 represented a number roughly equal to 20 percent of the entire turnout in Georgia that year (3,253,398). The entire early voting in 2004 was about 13 percent of the total votes cast in 2004, and we currently are at 20 percent of Georgia's 2004 totals.

The Voting Rights Act requires the states it covers to maintain data on racial and ethnic composition of voters, and Georgia publishes its data online. In Georgia, 29 percent of registered voters are African American. On Tuesday, they represented 37 percent of early voters. As of yesterday, 228,185 African Americans, out of a total 635,798 early voters, had cast their ballots. In other words, on Friday, they represented 35.9 percent of early voters.

On Tuesday, based on nothing, I proposed a wild-eyed method to assess where the race stood in Georgia: 95 percent of African Americans, I suggested, had voted for Obama, and five percent of African Americans had voted for McCain. Conversely, I proposed that Other Voters of all other races and ethnicities (White, Asian, Latino, Native American) had cast 30 percent of their ballots for Obama and 70 percent of their ballots for McCain. (I excluded Barr and McKinney from my analysis then and now.) On Tuesday, based on this methodology, I suggested Obama might be winning among early voters:

Obama 54
McCain 46

If we apply the same methodology to yesterday's numbers, where would the race currently stand? (Tuesday numbers in parentheses for the basis of comparison.)

Obama Voters
African American 217,341 (175,230)
Other 122,284 (94,439)
Total 339,625 (269,768)

McCain Voters
African American 10,844 (9,223)
Other 285,329 (220,591)
Total 296,173 (229,814)

In other words:

Obama 53.4%
McCain 46.6%

As I observed on Tuesday, this is all just so many pixels on a computer screen, but it is intriguing to speculate what is happening in early voting in Georgia.


Anonymous said...

obama only likes these early votes because it a security....people who early voted now some are changing there mind to be honest early voting shouldn't be should all be done on one day...this race is kind of racist look how many African Americans vote for him... I bet half of them don't know anything about him. sad what this world has come to......

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