Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Early Voting Update For October 28

For a comprehensive look at all the early voting data we've found and kept as up to date as possible, click here.

Today's news is as follows:

The Pew Center has conducted a national poll of 1500 respondents during Oct. 23-26 and found that 15% of its sample had already voted. The poll did not break out presidential preferences for those who have voted, however.

Survey USA issued a new poll of Ohio voters. Ohio has very active early voting going on. The results are quite interesting. Two weeks ago, SUSA conducted a similar survey. In it, 12% of respondents reported having already voted, and they heavily favored Obama, by 57%-39%.

We wondered if that was just early enthusiasm and whether the numbers would level out over time. They haven't. The new survey, done through Oct. 27, includes 22% of respondents who have already voted. Among them, Obama still has a commanding lead, 56%-37%, almost the same as two weeks ago.

We also wondered if this wasn't just Survey USA's methodology. Fortunately, we found a second poll, this afternoon, from LA Times/Bloomberg, which has very similar results. In that poll, 21% of respondents report having already voted, and they went for Obama by a wide margin, 57%-35%.

This means that with one in five Ohio voters having already gone to the polls, McCain has some major ground to make up in the remaining 80% of voters.

LA Times/Bloomberg also did a poll in Florida, which found that 14% had already voted there. Unlike almost all our other states, however, Obama is not leading among early voters in the Sunshine State. Instead, McCain leads by 49%-45%.

We also missed a poll yesterday with North Carolina early voting data, and have included it today. Public Policy Polling conducted a survey that ended Oct. 26. In it, fully one-third of respondents had already voted, and they've gone heavily for Obama, 63%-36%. (In the Senate race, Democratic challenger Kay Hagan also leads in early voting over incumbent Elizabeth Dole, 61%-35%.)

Our other news is all updates of demographic data from those Southern states that report such data on early voting, including Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and Louisiana. Check our comprehensive guide for the details, but the bottom line is this:

In GA, LA and NC, blacks are voting at well above their registration percentages. In NC, early voting turnout has been HUGE--as much as 40% of the state's voters (1.4 million) have already voted, and blacks account for 28% of those voters (versus 21% of registered voters). We thought the trend might change as more voters went to the polls, but it has not changed much. It appears the Obama machine is really getting the minority voters to the polls in NC.

Georgia is similar. In Louisiana, the number of early voters so far is smaller, but the trend is similar, although not quite as dramatic as NC and GA. In Florida, Democrats are outnumbering Republicans at in-person early voting stations.

Needless to say, if Obama takes Ohio, Florida, Georgia and NC, this election is over.

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