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I previously diaried about early voting in North Carolina, reporting data that the first 99,000 Democratic primary voters broke down 38% Black and 59% White and later with 175,238 Democratic ballots cast the numbers changed slightly to 38.5% Black and 58.1% White.  Now after two more days of early voting (with just two days left before the Saturday 1 pm deadline) there have been 260,939 Democratic ballots cast with the Black percentage rising to 38.8% and the White dropping to 57.7%. Most pollsters are estimating a minority turnout of 33%. While it remains to be seen whether election day turnout matches early voter demographics, the minority percentage has actually been increasing as early voting has progressed, indicating a steadily increasing interest in the Black community.

37.7% of registered Democrats are black according to North Carolina State Board of Elections statistics, while of registered Democrats casting early votes so far, 42.6% are Black. Just 2.4% of unaffiliated voters are Black, but 18.6% of the unaffiliated voters casting early voting ballots are Black.

I diaried at http://www.dailykos.com/... and http://www.dailykos.com/...
about early voting in North Carolina, reporting data that the first 99,000 Democratic primary voters broke down 38% Black and 59% White and that with 175,238 Democratic ballots in the numbers changed slightly to 38.5% Black and 58.1% White.  Now after two more days of early voting (with just two days left before the Saturday 1 pm deadline) there have been 260,939 Democratic ballots cast with the Black percentage rising to 38.8% and the White dropping to 57.7%. Most pollsters are estimating a minority turnout of 33%. ( SEE http://ccpsblog.blogspot.com/... ) While it remains to be seen whether election day turnout matches early voter demographics, the minority percentage has been increasing as early voting has progressed in indicating a steadily increasing interest in the Black community.

(NOTE: 0.7% of the early voters are American Indian, 0.4% Asian, and 2.4% did not have an entry for race in the database, bringing the total to 100%)

37.7% of registered Democrats are black according to North Carolina State Board of Elections statistics, while of registered Democrats casting early votes so far, 42.6% are Black. Just 2.4% of unaffiliated voters are Black, but 18.6% of the unaffiliated voters casting early voting ballots are Black. As seen, in BOTH categories Black turnout was substantially higher than the voter pool and steadily rising over time.

Brian Schaffner at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies has blogged twice (with data as of Sunday as opposed to my updated but similar data in this diary) about this and how it may affect both the election and polling, since most pollsters have estimated a much smaller minority turnout, see
http://ccpsblog.blogspot.com/... and
http://ccpsblog.blogspot.com/...

Schaffner noted:

The table below presents the racial and gender makeup of early voters in North Carolina so far:
% of Early Voters

White 59.10%

Black 37.20%

Male 40.40%

Female 59.10%

White Men 25.20%

White Women 33.70%

It certainly bodes well for Barack Obama that over one-third of the early voters are African American, since this group has supported him at such a high rate. White women, on the other hand, have been a very strong group for Hillary Clinton, and they also make up one-third of the early voters in the state.

and

For the most part, the composition of the pollsters' samples appear to be fairly close to that of those who have voted early so far. However, there are some small differences. For example, each polling organization has African Americans comprising one-third of their sample, but so far they have made up 37% of early voters. In addition, 59% of early voters have been women, but the pollsters samples are comprised of slightly fewer women.

but he cautions:

One final important point to make is that early voters are not necessarily a representative cross-section of the eventual electorate. Research suggests that those who take advantage of early voting tend to be of higher socioeconomic status than the regular electorate.

The analysis in this diary of early voters is enabled by the statewide system managing early voting, where voters checking in are updated on the state voter database in real time, with a file published daily. Fields in the file include party of registration, party of voting (Unaffiliated can vote in either party primary or just get a nonpartisan judicial ballot), and race (since North Carolina collects those statistics for Voting Rights Act purposes).

Through Thursday, 220,379 Democrats had voted in the Democratic primary, along with 40,560 unaffiliated voters.  GOP turnout was 51,265 plus 6,034 unaffiliated voters for a total of 57,299.  1,591 Unaffilated voters showed up and did not want to vote in either party primary and got just the judicial ballot.  NC has hot gubernatorial primaries on May 6, and a GOP presidential ballot as well, while both parties have US Senate, Congressional and local offices on the ballot.

It would certainly appear that the minority turnout in the Democratic primary so far exceeds the percentage in the total eligible electorate.

 
=================

Not analyzed above are approximately 16,000 mail-in absentee ballots.

Early voting.net has a neat graph of daily early voting numbers this year in North Carolina, note the linear progression of unaffiliated and Republican turnout and the exponential increase of Democrats.
http://earlyvoting.net/...

Originally posted to dean4ever on Fri May 02, 2008 at 04:41 AM PDT.

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