Friday, October 17, 2008

Georgia Early Voting Rolling Along

On Monday, we reported that Obama appears to have a decent lead over McCain amongst "early voters" in Georgia.

Here's some more data, along with a couple of sites where you can get regular updates on numbers of Georgia early voters (but not necessarily who they're voting for).

According to the Georgia Secretary of State, as of today 635,798 people have already voted in the Peach State. Of those, 549,310 voted "in-person" at designated early voting sites, while 86,488 voted by mail.

This is a huge number--it represents nearly 20 percent of the roughly 3.3 million Georgians who voted in the 2004 presidential election, and suggests that a huge proportion of Georgia voters will have already cast their ballots come election day. (We guess the total number this year will be well over 3.3 million, however.)

The make-up of the early voters is also quite interesting. Approximately 228,000 early voters are African-American, which accounts for about 36% of the early voters. Since blacks make up 29% of Georgia's registered voters, they are voting disproportionately in the early voting, which certainly should help Obama.

The early voters are also disproportionately female (56%).

The big question, of course, is whether the early vote presages a huge African-American turnout, or it just means shifting folks who would've voted anyway to the early column. If blacks do, in fact, turnout at a level that makes them account for 36% of the Georgia vote--a truly astounding turnout--then we think Obama will carry the state. That's a HUGE "if" however.

For additional, daily, updates on the Georgia early voting patterns and data, check out CB8421's diary on Daily Kos.

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