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Early returns in Oregon's unique vote-by-mail election are forecasting a Dem wave.  In short, Dems are upstaging Republicans across the state, with potential national implications beyond just the hopeful retaking of the Oregon House and retaining of Senate and Governorship.

Here's the link to the original post at the Oregon website Loaded Orygun, or read below for my synopsis:

http://loadedorygun.blogspot.com/...

Obviously, making extrapolations from Oregon to the nation at-large are tenuous at best, but objective data from the early returns give credibility to the widely held notion that Democrats are especially motivated to vote while Republican voting will be relatively depressed.

For background, Oregon has a unique voting system which occurs exclusively by mail-in ballots. They were delivered two weeks ago, so it is very easy to follow turnout because it is a public record as to whether a particular individual has voted, so one can track partisan turnout (and consequently target those individuals who have yet to turn in their ballot). In fact, as of Thursday (the latest figures available), 31% of the state had turned in their ballots.

http://www.sos.state.or.us/...

Now, I don't have access to the partisan data, but you can bet that the professionals do, and this is what they're saying:

From Loaded Orygun:

"The statewide analysis shows a total of 627,177 through the 2nd, with 277,850 of those Democrats (44.3%), 240,582 Republicans (38.4%) and 108,745 independents (17.3%). Do the math, and that's a 5.9% turnout edge across Oregon. In terms of registration, Democrats are only 39% of the total, so you can see they're outperforming their proportion. The Republicans are as well, but not to the same extent."

Furthemore, in the most hotly contested districts, where the future of the Oregon House will be determined and where most attention has been lavished, Dems are even further outperforming Republicans:

"In Jean Cowan's District 10, Democrats are 56% of registrants (relative just to Dems+GOP), but 59% of ballot returns. In Sal Peralta's 24, Dems are 45% of D/R registrants, but 49% of ballots. In Brian Clem's 21st, Dems are outperforming by 2.6%, and in Chris Edwards' 14th, they're outperforming by 4.2%."

(snip)

"First District 49, where Minnis is: in her district Democrats are 56% of the Democrat + Republican total. Right now, they're 60% of returns head to head. And in the 39th, Democrats are outperforming their registration by 4.3%, the highest disparity of any race I have info for. Democrats are turning out strongly; they lead by over 5 points relative to Republican turnout for Scott, which is fairly low at 30%. Minnis' turnout is even lower, at 29% so far. And in David Edwards' 30th, folks aren't yet buying what Ev Curry is selling, where turnout is under 29% for Republicans."

I interpret this to reflect a strong motivation by Democrats to throw out Republicans, whereas in those same districs, Republican voting is relatively depressed.

Of course, more than 2 days, including Saddam's verdict, remain to affect the national races, but this is in my opinion the best evidence yet of a disproportionately strong motivation on the part of the Dems to turn out and throw the Republicans out on their asses, in contrast to a relatively depressed Republican base.

Keep up the hard work, I know that I will be doing so in District 49 listed above (canvassing in the rain), but this may give more reason to be hopeful about Tuesday night.

Originally posted to verasoie on Sat Nov 04, 2006 at 11:22 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  How about the legisltature? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YetiMonk, Cato come back, Iowa Boy

    How is it shaking out? The Senate Dem leader looks like a rising star.

    You're one microscopic cog in his catastrophic plan designed and directed by his red right hand

    by RandyMI on Sat Nov 04, 2006 at 11:24:12 PM PST

  •  Thanks for taking the time to post this. nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    verasoie, YetiMonk, Cato come back
  •  That's all we get... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CSI Bentonville

    From what I understood, the only thing the people that count the votes were allowed to do until Tuesday when the drop off points close was to start comparing the signatures on the outer envelopes with the signatures on file, and then place the envelopes that make it through this process in some sort of "ready to be counted area."

    I've since heard rumors that they are allowed to begin counting on Tuesday during what would have been poll opening hours, but no information can be released until all of the drop off points are closed.  I've never seen anything official about this-- just hearsay.  

    Progressive Blogging in the defense of liberty is no vice.

    by Progressive Chick on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 12:06:55 AM PST

    •  I'm not sure I understand your comment, but here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CSI Bentonville, mmorgaine

      is what I understand.

      The fact that you have turned in your ballot is a public record, and that fact becomes available publicly once it has been recorded as having arrived at the elections office.  This is great for allowing campaigns to target their GOTV efforts by only focusing on those voters who haven't turned in their votes yet.

      I've also read that they actually start tabulating votes at 12:01 a.m. of the voting day, i.e. Tuesday, which means that once the polls close, they can usually instantly release the results from the bulk of the (counted) votes. In Oregon, this typically means that the sparsely populated, rural and Republican-leaning counties report their votes right after the polls close, so the initial results always skew heavily for the Republicans, and then as the larger, more heavily populated, urban and Dem-leaning counties trickle their results out, things start shifting to the Dems.  The pros can usually tell right away from the initial Republican margin how things will swing, just based on the reported turnout, though I'm not that good.

      I hope that helps.

      The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit. Somerset Maugham

      by verasoie on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 12:15:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That makes sense (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        varro

        I think it has changed over the years.  I think they weren't counting quite that soon when we first switched over to mail in ballots.  I'm pretty sure there was a time when we weren't starting to do any counting until the old poll closure time.  I think that's one of the things that made the first results take so long in 2000.

        Again, I could be wrong on this.  I'm going from what I remember from the local news and their explanations as to why there weren't any immediate predictions after 8 PM the first few vote-by-mail elections.

        Progressive Blogging in the defense of liberty is no vice.

        by Progressive Chick on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 12:23:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Katie....we'll be at Brendan's... (0+ / 0-)

          ...9:30 or 10 or so, after we get back from the Capitol Steps show at the Schnitz - the KPOJ ad guy gave us tickets.

          We'll be election geeking and Brendan will be making appropriate drinks for the various situations.

          9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

          by varro on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 01:09:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'd love to... (0+ / 0-)

            but you don't know how far downhill I've gone.  I can't drive anymore and just riding that far in a car would be very hard on me even if I was traveling one way one day and back the next day.  Hubby and Roommate 1 both will need to work the next day and roommate two (Wilford) will be at school and student teaching by about 8 AM on Wednesday.

            I can bring plenty of pillows to prop myself up and plenty of rx pain meds, but the whole transportation thing would be too much.

            Progressive Blogging in the defense of liberty is no vice.

            by Progressive Chick on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 01:59:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Judging from the past few elections... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        verasoie, CSI Bentonville

        ...the first returns are the early votes from Multnomah County, and a 2/3 or higher Dem vote is good.  

        The Rs will gain as other counties come in - the rural counties usually report in the middle of the count, and late Multnomah votes from the drop boxes are the last to come in.

        9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

        by varro on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 01:02:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Please, please, please... (6+ / 0-)

    ...make Minnis go away.

    I heard a few days ago election officials predicting a 71% turn-in for registered voters. But with only 31% of ballots in as of last Thursday, I find that prediction difficult to believe.

    Count me as an Independent who voted straight ticket Dem.

    Inquiry that does not achieve coordination of behaviour is not inquiry but simply wordplay - Richard Rorty

    by BuckMulligan on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 12:07:17 AM PST

    •  It seems legit to me, if you follow the link (4+ / 0-)

      I gave to the SoS site, you can see the turnout for the past elections and compare.

      Plus, something like 50% of the votes typically come in during the last 2 days or so. Don't despair, we've got Minnis on the ropes (though I'm not counting her out yet).

      The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit. Somerset Maugham

      by verasoie on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 12:16:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Odd (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        verasoie

        something like 50% of the votes typically come in during the last 2 days or so

        Kinda defeats the whole purpose of voting by mail, doesn't it? LOL

        Inquiry that does not achieve coordination of behaviour is not inquiry but simply wordplay - Richard Rorty

        by BuckMulligan on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 12:25:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nevermind (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          verasoie, CSI Bentonville

          I should have assumed that most of the ballots coming in those last two days were mailed the previous Friday and Saturday.

          Inquiry that does not achieve coordination of behaviour is not inquiry but simply wordplay - Richard Rorty

          by BuckMulligan on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 12:27:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, it's a legit gripe, but also I think most are (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BuckMulligan, CSI Bentonville

            dropped off by hand at the various drop-off sites (typically libraries) in the last several days, which is still a lot less cumbersome than having to wait in line at a polling station (not that I would know from personal experience, but that's what I've heard).

            The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit. Somerset Maugham

            by verasoie on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 12:29:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Well, that's 50% more than would happen otherwise (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BuckMulligan, CSI Bentonville

          and we do have some of the highest turnout in the country, so I'll take it.

          Or, if you prefer arguments based on fiscal reasoning, it saves us millions of dollars a year compared to manning polling booths, etc.

          The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit. Somerset Maugham

          by verasoie on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 12:27:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Good luck! (5+ / 0-)

    I hope to look forward to a Minnis free future.  Oh but that would be sweet.

    Hope will heal us all.

    "For the serious empire-builder there was no such thing as a final frontier." - Terry Pratchett Jingo

    by notapipe on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 12:11:27 AM PST

  •  Consistent with Nebraska reports (4+ / 0-)

    Here are the numbers for early voting in Douglas County with is pretty much NE-02.

    35,200 voters total, almost all of the Dems are voting for Jim Esch and 40% of the Republican and Independents will, too, for a total of about 24k votes. It only takes about 100k votes to carry the district.

    D - 17,713 - 50.36%
    I - 5,516 - 15.68%
    R - 11,943 - 33.96%

     FYI the Democrat to Republican turnout is unusual this year - it should start at 3:2 Dem/Repub, then be 1:1 at the end. We saw a 4:1 Democratic advantage slide slowly towards this 3:2 finish. This is a powerful sign that Democrats are motivated and turning out like its a presidential election year.

    "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise" - U.S. Constitution author and fourth President James Madison

    by Iowa Boy on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 12:31:05 AM PST

  •  Cool! n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    verasoie

    Be good to each other. It matters. Bill Sali

    by AllisonInSeattle on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 12:52:40 AM PST

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