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View Diary: NC Early Voting Day 3: Epic Turnout - 42,709 "Unlikely" Voters Have Already Voted (243 comments)

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  •  dumb question? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MattTX

    How the H do we know how people voted, before the counting is done? If this is based on exit polling (as I assume), you should say so -- and I find it hard to believe someone is exit-polling every single early voter for days and days, so what is the sampling technique?

    And BTW someday there needs to be a discussion of ethics -- why the networks are super-careful not to release exit poll data while the polls are still open on Election Night, but here we are freely discussing them for early voting, knowing that it likely affects people's choices about GOTV.

    •  We don't (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DianeNYS, BlueStateRedhead

      We don't actually know how people voted. Check my day 1 diary for more details. However, because voter preferences tend to be fairly stable among demographics, especially in a polarized and inelastic state with few swing voters such as NC, we can make a pretty well informed estimate of how the eventual vote total comes out. It's very unlikely that Obama will get more than about 4% of White Republicans, and it's very unlikely that Romney will get more than about 1% of Black Democrats, so we can project those votes with very high confidence. We have to be a little bit less confident about other demographics (like White Dems and White Unaffiliateds), but overall I think preferences are at least fairly stable, and the estimates are probably not that far from the truth.

      With regards to ethics, I would say that influencing people's choices about GOTV is a large part of the point. In the same way, the whole point of knocking on doors or making phone calls is to influence people's ultimate choices.

      I am not writing these diaries only because I am abstractly intellectual interested in the facts about early voting, although that's true in my case. I'm aware that the fact that I am writing about high turnout may help motivate some people, and I am absolutely fine with that. I'm not saying anything that does not comport with the facts - I think the facts right now are pretty clear that early vote turnout looks a lot like 2008 - but if I were a partisan Republican I'd probably be trying very hard to frame things in a different way than I am framing them now.

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