All but one (Oklahoma, 10/31) of the eligible Early Voting (in person) states are ready and open for business! We have this newsflash from CNN, Early voting suggests 2008 may see record turnout:
"Officials in early voting states are reporting record turnout with Election Day still two weeks away. The numbers indicate a record percentage of voters could participate in the presidential election, a voting expert said.
The good news is that the early voters are predominantly DEMOCRATS - quite a reversal, as early voting in the past has been dominated by Republicans. Well done Obama campaign, DNC and anyone else that's been encourage folks to get out early.
From a report released yesterday by the Pew Research Center:
"The survey also finds that 31% of voters plan to vote before Election Day, or have already voted, compared with only 19% at this stage in 2004. Early voters lean heavily to Obama; 58% say they support Obama, compared with 34% for McCain."
But here's the GREAT news.
"Significantly more Democrats than Republicans have cast ballots at this early stage in Iowa, North Carolina, New Mexico and Ohio, according to data analyzed by The New York Times."
This is hopefully a good sign of things to come - especially if the 2000 and 2004 elections are any indication, where approximately 60% of early voters voted for GWB.
“In the past, what you’ve seen is early voters tend to be older, had higher incomes and lean more Republican and that trend has held over the past elections,” said Paul Gronke, executive director of the Early Voting Information Center at Reed College in Oregon. “But what we are seeing now when you look at the numbers is that they are more African-American, Hispanic and the young. I look at this and I go, ‘Wow!’ This is quite different. It is a lot different from what we’ve seen before and it has to raise concerns for the G.O.P.”
So, drum roll please.... here is what the NY Times is reporting today:
"...At this point, 56 percent of the early voters in North Carolina are Democrats, compared with 27 percent who are Republicans and 16 percent unaffiliated.
...In Iowa, meanwhile, more than 200,000 ballots have already been received by the state. Democrats have returned about 52 percent of them compared with 20 percent for Republicans.
...In New Mexico, the breakdown so far has been: Democrats 55 percent, Republicans 35 percent, independents 11 percent. In Ohio, it has been: Democrats 46 percent, Republicans 24 percent and independents 30 percent.
...In Colorado, Republicans represented 40 percent of the combined early vote, while Democrats had 38 percent.
...In Florida, more than 785,000 ballots have been cast, with Republicans accounting for about 47 percent of them, compared with 39 percent for Democrats and 11 percent for independents."