From 2004-2007, I was the "data geek" for the Democratic Party of Georgia. This year, I'm running for State House myself because I think Atlanta needs the same brand of change Barack Obama wants to bring to the White House. More about me later, though. People have been asking me both nationally and in Georgia this last week is it really possible for Jim Martin or Barack Obama to win Georgia? The answer may surprise you: Yes.
Forget the polls. We have a tendency to live and die by the polls, and although they are looking pretty good for Georgia right now, the real magic is in the data. In 2004, 68.5% of Georgia's active registered voters where white, 27.4% were African-American and 4.1% registered as some other race - or no race at all.
That translated into an electorate that was roughly 71.3% white, 25.4% African-American and 3.3% other. We've heard a lot about the massive increases in voter registration in Georgia, but what we also hear is that it is easy to register, much harder to vote. Follow me into the extended entry for some amazing visual proof that Georgia's new registrations are turning into voters that Barack Obama, Jim Martin and Democrats running all the way down the ballot can put into the bank...
Update: Thanks guys! Over
$600 $1,400 raised so far! Let's keep this up!
First, I'm going to show you how African-Americans, Whites and Others stacked up in registration from 2004 to 2008. The lighter color below represents their 2004 totals, the darker color is current registration. Please keep in mind that although my data is from Oct 1 our registration deadline was Oct 6. It is likely that when all registrations are processed that had been submitted by Oct 1 and the additional registrations that came in after Oct 1 hit the file, Georgia will have added an additional 120,000 voters, of which nearly 50% are expected to be African-American.
Now, the above might not look that impressive until you consider the following chart below, which only shows the change in total active registrations.
Amazingly, more African-Americans have been added to the rolls than white voters. Far more, in fact. Nearly 40% of the additions since 2004 are African-Americans, even though they only made up 27% of the rolls that year. Even more amazingly, Other voters (this includes Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans and Unknown) have seen their rolls more than double. They made about 175k of voters in 2004, now they are over 355k. 26% of new voters are in this category. White voters, who gave 77% of their votes to George Bush in 2004, account for only 34% of new voters. And there is a lot of evidence that these voters are younger and less conservative than the white voters that were already voting back then. For one thing, white voters who voted in the 2004 general election and the Presidential primary were only 29.8% likely to pick up a Democratic primary ballot. Those who didn't vote in 2004 but participated in the primary picked up a Democratic ballot 40.5% of the time!
Now I want to show you two amazing charts. On the left, what the electorate looked like in 2004. As with other charts, red represents white voters, blue represents African-Americans, green others. On the right, what the electorate looks like so far after about 15 days of early voting.
Guys, this is real. More than 348k Georgians have gone to their county seats and voted early or submitted an absentee ballot by mail. With nearly 4 weeks to go until election day, our total turnout is already 11% what it was as of 2004. Amazingly, at this point African-Americans represent over 37% of the electorate and Other voters made up 4%. At a combined rate of 41%, they are currently outperforming their 2004 totals by 12%!
The pies above represent the total number of voters by race for 2004 and how many voters have already turned out this year, with 25 days to go. It's easy to see which voters in Georgia are motivated. Again, these votes are real. They are in the bank. No weather or long lines or intimidation can prevent them from voting on Nov 4th, because they've already voted.
Now, if I may for a second say a little about myself. I'm a Georgia blogger who ran my own site from about 2003 to 2006. Since then I've posted on various Georgia group blogs including Tondee's Tavern which is Georgia's official 50 state blog.
I decided to run for office this year because we have to change the culture of our government if we want to make it work for people again. My Republican opponent, who used to read my blog, is now sending out mail and is soon to go on cable television with misleading attacks that try to say that my internet handle (chrisishardcore) somehow means I'm some sort of seedy peddler of smut. Is my handle a bit silly? Sure it is. Is my online participation motivated by anything other than a desire to add to the conversation on Georgia and national politics? No.
Simply put, I want to continue helping the blog community and the Georgia Obama campaign analyze this data. I'd like to come on here every day between now and election day and update these graphs and keep the community abreast of what is going on. But I need your help. I'm a blogger running for office and I'm being attacked by an opponent who is intentionally misleading the voters of our district into thinking participating in an online forum is some sort of underhanded lurking.
Help me fight back.
Chris Huttman: Contribute (fixed). I estimate that if every Georgian who reads DailyKos gave just $1, I'd have enough money to respond to my opponents baseless attacks, but also to get off the phone and get out into the district to go door to door and bring my own message as well as Jim Martin and Barack Obama's message of change directly to the voters.
Thank you for your time today.
On the web: Chris Huttman for State House