October 29, 2008

Early Voting... One Battleground State... Where Are They?

Hatched by Dafydd

The Las Vegas Review Journal has a story up about early voting in Nevada. The campaign of Barack H. Obama has assiduously, compulsively courted three groups in particular... and Obama hangs his campaign on the premise that these three groups can be induced to turn out in record, even staggering numbers:

Traditionally, older people, whites and people who vote consistently tend to turn out at the highest rates overall, said David Damore, a political scientist at UNLV. But this year, much has been made of the idea that the youth vote, the Hispanic vote and first-time voters would turn out at unprecedented rates, galvanized by a heightened political climate and the candidacy of Democratic nominee Barack Obama....

The idea that the electorate will be radically reshaped this year remains an open question, he said, and it's possible the Obama campaign faces a challenge turning out the untested voters it's relying on to win.

Recent polling shows Obama leading in the Silver State by varying margins. Democrats' hopes have been boosted by a tectonic shift in voter registration that has left them with more than 110,000 more registered voters than Republicans, but the GOP insists there's hope because the election will be decided by who votes and how.

Bear in mind that all the polls showing Obama leading in this battleground state are based on that very assumption by the Obama campaign -- that minorities, young voters, and first-time voters will turn out in eye-popping numbers. Pollsters weight their results according to that assumption, boosting the number of responses they receive from members of those three groups and correspondingly reducing the number of responses by older whites who have voted in every election since the Mesozoic Era.

But what if they gave an electoral revolution, and nobody came? Or at least not enough guests for a quorum. We may be about to find out how that affects the accuracy of political polling; if pollster's turnout assumptions are wrong, then the polls have consistently overstated Obama's support and understated that of John S. McCain:

Analysts have predicted that new voters, young voters and Hispanic voters will turn out in record numbers in this election. But as Nevadans continue to flock to the polls, turnout among those three groups is lagging, at least in the early going.

While turnout statewide was nearly 25 percent through Sunday, it was just 20 percent among Hispanic voters, 14 percent among voters under 30 and 15 percent among those who didn't vote in the last three elections, according to an analysis of state early voting records through Sunday prepared by America Votes, an organization that works to mobilize voters....

"I would have expected those numbers to be a little higher," Damore said. "At the same time, the people who come out for early voting may tend to be the tried and true."

Yeah, well, that's the whole point, isn't it? Democrats are relying upon untested voters of dubious enthusiasm, many of them recruited with booze or direct financial inducements by groups like ACORN, to show up and actually vote; in fact, voter registration drives have specifically urged newly registered voters to vote early, either at their local precincts or by absentee balloting.

By contrast, Republicans are relying upon those voters who have always voted in the past. Which group do we suppose is most likely actually to show up in the voting booth?

Now, it's still early in the process; and Obama's "Chicago machine" may yet kick in, even in states as far from Illinois as Nevada, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. But if early voting in Nevada is any indication, we may be witnessing the bursting of the Obamabubble.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, October 29, 2008, at the time of 10:42 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Dick E


Excellent points -- I hope you’re right.

I recently heard a “you Republicans are screwed” statistic -- I think it was on NPR. They said that, for the first time since the Big Bang (I think that preceded the Mesozoic), a majority of whites are going to vote Democratic.

It must have come from one of those polls….

The above hissed in response by: Dick E [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 29, 2008 11:23 PM

The following hissed in response by: Chris Hunt

Anecdotally, my middle daughter will be voting for the first time, or not voting as the case may be. Last year she said she was voting for Obama, but now she's not voting for anybody. Ah, the beginnings of cynicism, when young people realize that not all emperors are clothed.

The above hissed in response by: Chris Hunt [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 30, 2008 3:17 AM

The following hissed in response by: hunter


The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 30, 2008 6:19 AM

The following hissed in response by: MerryMaven

From your mouth to God's ear.

The above hissed in response by: MerryMaven [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 30, 2008 1:36 PM

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