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UPDATE: 9 am Monday, November 3: some counties did NOT report their Saturday totals until this morning, and an additional 20,852 early voters have been added, for a final total of 2,390,429. I will update this diary this evening with the stats.

North Carolina closed out its early voting period Saturday with a total 2,369,577 votes cast in person, up from 2004's 984,294. Already, 49.7% of the State's Black registered voters have cast ballots just at the early vote sites.  44.34% of the registered Democrats have voted, compared with 33.18% of the Republicans, with a D to R margin of 604,846.  The early voting total is 66.7% of the 3,551,675 total votes cast in 2004. 435,907 unaffiliated voters and 1,548 Libertarians also voted.

The mail-in absentee total of 203,629 has a 53,761 edge for the GOP, dwarfed by the heavily Democratic in person early votes.

Blacks made up 29.94% of the Saturday final day total of 202,854 voters at 337 sites, up from the 25.20% who early voted Friday. Both numbers exceed the 21.6% of registered voters who are Black.

Two heavily Democratic counties in the Research Triangle area outperformed even that.  Durham County (2004 Kerry 68%, Bush 31%) saw 97,697 early voters, 87.5% of the 2004 turnout, while Chapel Hill's Orange County (2004 Kerry 67%, Bush 32%) had 51,964 early votes, 78.6% of the total 2004 vote. Wake County (Raleigh) had 251,034 vote early, 70% of 2004 total.

NC for the first time allowed voter registration during early voting, and as of Wednesday, 101,000 new voters had signed up at early vote centers. Final totals should be available Monday.

For 2008, here is a breakdown of race of early voters:
Black       28.18%
White       67.52%
Native Am    0.41%
Two Races    0.41%
Asian        0.63%
Other*       2.84%

* includes blank field, undesignated, and other. Hispanics who list themselves as undesignated or other or leave the race field blank are aggregated under "Other". Hispanics who also list Black or White appear in those categories

The table below compares the % of early voters from each party between 2008 and 2004:
               2008       2004
Unaffiliated 18.40%     15%
Republican   28.01%     37%
Libertarian   0.07%    0.5%
Democratic   53.53%     48%

49.74% of the early votes Saturday were Democratic, up from the 47.49% of Friday.  The GOP total of 29.1% Saturday was down from the 31.78% of Friday.

In person early voters got several benefits over election day voters in North Carolina.  New voters can register at early voting sites but not on election day. Already registered voters reporting address changes within a county can get a regular ballot at early voting sites, but on election day may wind up with a more cumbersome provisional ballot.  

The entire electorate in North Carolina breaks down:
Unaffiliated 22.25%
Republican   31.97%
Libertarian   0.06%
Democratic   45.72%

North Carolina has registered over 900,000 new voters in 2008, and voter registration continues at early voting sites. While early voting began in NC in 2000, allowing voter registration during the early voting period was first allowed in 2007. From October 16-29, 101,421 new voters registered at early voting sites, 37.6% of whom are Black. By party affiliation, the new voters at early voting sites break down:
U 20.5%
R 25.1%
L  0.2%
D 54.16%

The following percentage of each party's electorate has voted early:
Unaffiliated   31.31%
Republican     33.18%
Libertarian    43.65%
Democratic     44.34%

Since North Carolina captures party and race on its registration records, and posts early votes cast to the voter record each evening, stats can be run the next morning.

This data analysis above does NOT include stats on mail-in absentee ballots, only those cast in person.

Here are the mail-in gross totals of ballots voted
Civilian:  193,291*  (of 259,384 issued, 11/3 return deadline)
Military:    7,021** (of 13,170 issued, 11/4 return deadline)
Overseas:    3,317** (of 5,400 issued, 11/4 return deadline)

As of Saturday, the three categories of postal ballots break down
U 17.8%
R 54.2%
L  0.05%
D 27.9%
The total margin of R over D in postal absentees is about 53,768, dwarfed by the 604,846+ margin of D over R in in person early votes.

Interestingly, the Overseas absentee voters (largely expats) broke down:
U 33.01%
R 23.52%
L  0.09%
D 43.38%

*includes military and overseas voters who were already registered.

**using Federal postcard absentee ballot application

No racial breakdown is available for 2004 on the State Board of Elections files.

files used for data analysis
2008 (updated daily)
2008 (current registration)
November 1 party registration totals at
2008 new voters

Originally posted to dean4ever on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 04:18 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Amazing numbers! (11+ / 0-)

    I'm hoping we can get the remaining 55% of Democrats to vote!  The AA vote totals are unreal!

    Little known fact -- John McCain was a POW!!!

    by Unstable Isotope on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 04:31:00 AM PST

  •  I like the feel of that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    a lot. McCain only wins this one if his supporters are full of energy and enthusiasm on Tuesday and I cannot think of a single reason why that might be the case.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 04:31:49 AM PST

    •  Oh, they are highly motivated (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hoya90, Joe B, BasharH

      Never underestimate the determination of conservatives with their worldview's back against the wall.

      What this election needs is more cowbell.

      by cskendrick on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 05:00:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Asheville Obama HQ overflowing with volunteers (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cskendrick, NoVAVoter

        Never underestimate the joyful determination of people of every "type" who sense the opportunity for a new freedom and a new happiness.

      •  UNLESS ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cskendrick, orangedem

        ... they are so disgusted or disgruntled that all they want to do is stay home and wallow in self-pity for being such poooooor misunderstood creatures sold down-river by somebody - anybody - other than themselves and their own fucked up, fantasy based policies.

        "Imprisonment... is a series of cubes!" ~ Sen. Ted "Toobz" Stevens (AK-Felon)

        by The Werewolf Prophet on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 05:22:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's not happening (0+ / 0-)

          I don't think that the Republicans are going to lay down and oblige us with a walk-through.

          Defeat is a new thing for them; they are going to play as if they can win all the way through.

          I'd never bet on low GOP turnout.

          A lot of people like to vote on Election Day; this attitude is changing rather quickly (I think) but there are plenty of people out tehre who just like the traditional day to be part of the traditional voting process.

          And such folks tend to be conservative.

          What this election needs is more cowbell.

          by cskendrick on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 07:34:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  GOTV is focused. Over 40% have voted. (5+ / 0-)

    Early voting in NC has been a huge success in NC this year. This presages a record turnout.

    Black voters are turning out in record shattering numbers. Enthusiasm for Obama is contagious.

    Excellent summary.

    "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 04:33:53 AM PST

  •  Nice! nt (0+ / 0-)

    John McCain: Country Club First!

    by Batbird on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 04:35:53 AM PST

  •  you can key in figures from Rasmussen's (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CalvinV, Cartoon Peril, BasharH, imperturb

    most recent poll of NC, where Obama led by 2, to see where you think early voting has taken us.

    If you key in the party affiliation numbers where Obama takes 87% of Dems, and McCain takes 93% of Republicans and has a +9 lead among Independents, you get an Obama lead in early voting of approximately 56-42.

    If you key in the preferences by race where Obama wins the black vote 98-2% of the black vote and McCain wins the white vote 63-35 (and assume Obama wins "other" around 75-25), then you get an Obama lead of approximately 54-44 from early voting.

    So I think however you cut it Obama has logged a lead of at least 10% in NC early voting, or in other words a lead in votes of something in the range of 230,000 to 300,000.

    So while NC is nowhere near as done-and-dusted as states like NM and IA, where Obama has already effectively won via early voting, there's little doubt that he's carrying a sizeable lead into Tuesday.

    •  If we have a 10-point lead going in (0+ / 0-)

      I think this one just might work out for the blue team.

      I have to believe the Republicans are coming to play; no Southern state GOP party wants to be the one to "lose" in this particular contest.

      The specter of sustained high African-American turnout is what terrifies them most.

      It would change everything they do. Set their agenda back decades.

      As if that were bad for America or something. ;)

      What this election needs is more cowbell.

      by cskendrick on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 04:59:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  if Obama gets 87% of dems, he will win NC (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stranded Wind

      McCain has to keep Obama under 80 in order to pull out a win.  i don't see it happening

  •  Betcha all those AA votes were for Palin! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stranded Wind

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 04:49:34 AM PST

  •  You can safely hand over 1 in 5 of the Dem votes (0+ / 0-)

    to McCain and start your forecasts from there.

    My guess is Obama leads in the NC Early Vote by 8 points, more depending on how many vote for Barr.

    Let's make that a range of 8-12 points in the early voting.

    My guess is McCain will be favored between 8-12 in the actual Election-Day voting.

    If Obama is up by 12 points in the Early Vote, McCain then needs to be ahead by 9.8 points on Election Day.

    If Obama goes in 11 points ahead, McCain needs 9 points.

    If Obama's EV advantage is 10 points? McCain needs 8.2 on Election Day.

    +9O in EV? +7.4 needed for McCain

    +8O in EV? McCain needs +6.6 on Tuesday.

    I don't think anyone credibly predicts a blowout here; both parties are highly motivated and mobilized, same as elsewhere nationwide.

    No one really knows what it's going to happen.

    What this election needs is more cowbell.

    by cskendrick on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 04:55:20 AM PST

    •  Too low (0+ / 0-)

      Obama will be leading by about 15-20% among early voters. It's likely that more than 50% of the total voters have now voted as well. McCain has a big hill to climb, and has to do it with a depressed republican base and inadequate organization in North Carolina. Good luck.

      Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

      by Scarce on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 05:03:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Overall forecasts are for a tight race (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I'm comfortable with their modeling and with mine and, oh, almost forgot. I live here. :)

        What this election needs is more cowbell.

        by cskendrick on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 05:06:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think that's too high (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        see my post above which suggests an Obama lead of 10-14% in early voting. That is based on the internals from a very recent Rasmussen poll which at +2% was smack in line with the average, and so is probably a pretty good indicator of where the balance lies.

        So I agree with you that Obama is in a strong position, but I don't think it's over yet.

    •  Wow, 1 in 5 votes seems a bit high... (0+ / 0-)

      Considering Kerry lost around 12-15% of Dems in 2004.  Would Obama be less able to drive out and gather more Dems to his side than Kerry?  I don't know and you should have a better feel as you're actually on the ground there.

      And what do you make of this bit of information:

      The Atlantic

      Those 19% of Dems who have early voted, yet have never early voted before (or it's been a long time since they last voted) is a pretty large percentage.  I take this 19% to include new voters as well as people who are typically pretty inert when it comes to voting.

      I'm not going to say that Obama has a huge lead in North Carolina just from the early vote, but I think we can all agree that he has some sort of lead and it's going to depend on the election day electorate to determine how well he does -- as opposed to the situations in Nevada or Iowa, where Obama has already built up a formidable lead.

      What's your sense of the McCain ground game in NC?  Republicans will be motivated, for sure, but will many of them wait in these hour-long lines to vote for someone they half-heartedly support?

      America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this. -- Barack Obama, the next President of our United States.

      by BasharH on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 05:28:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's supposed to rain ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ... in the eastern part of the state most of Tuesday, which will suppress the low-info voter turnout, especially if most did not take advantage of early voting and the lines are long.

        The major urban areas (typically strongly dem) have really cranked out to early vote and I anticipate lines will be shorter/faster even if these areas have a record turnout on Tuesday.

        "Imprisonment... is a series of cubes!" ~ Sen. Ted "Toobz" Stevens (AK-Felon)

        by The Werewolf Prophet on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 05:39:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  more than half the voters have voted (0+ / 0-)

      If Obama is up by 12 points in the Early Vote, McCain then needs to be ahead by 9.8 points on Election Day.

      There have been over 2.5 million overall votes.  Maybe 2 million more will vote.  McCain will have to beat Obama by more than 12 points on election day.

  •  I just got an e-mail (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    saying Obama will be at UNC Charlotte on Monday evening.

    I'm not saying he will, but urban Charlotte is one of those places where he could easily draw many tens of thousands of people.

  •  any numbers on youth vote? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    very important demo as we all know is the anticipated huge surge in young people voting this year.
    Does diarist  have any figures on this yet?

    •  There are some NC early youth vote (0+ / 0-)

      Anthropologists for human diversity; opposing McCain perversity

      by Denise Oliver Velez on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 05:26:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, also keep this in mind... (0+ / 0-)

      We could very well have youth turnout numbers that are the same this year as they were in 2004.  They turned out pretty well that year.  However, it will be harder to find information about their partisan breakdown.  I have a feeling that in 2004, they were roughly 55%-45% D to R.  The total number of youths voting this year may be the same; however if our side is able to turn out voters with a margin of 80%-20%, this wouldn't necessarily be reflected in the total number, but would show up in exit polls or other election day results.

      In other words, we don't necessarily need youth turnout to increase from 10% of all voters to 20%.  We need the partisan margin to increase from whatever it was in 2004 to some lopsided margin -- 75%-25% or 80%-20%.  Considering McCain hasn't really been reaching out to young votes at all, and they have very little in common with him, I think these margins aren't completely out of the question.

      America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this. -- Barack Obama, the next President of our United States.

      by BasharH on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 05:35:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  important note on the youth vote (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I've been canvassing in Chapel Hill, and the voter registration lists include a ton of students who registered in 2004, have since moved, have probably registered elsewhere, but their registrations haven't been updated.  So we have on the books a ton of outdated registrations in 18-29 demographic.  On election day, these will show up as having not voted.  If the youth vote is relatively low, that will be one reason.

  •  Something to consider about new registrations (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wayward, BasharH, Deoliver47

    North Carolina has a sizable percentage of Dixiecrats who vote Republican. But they have been Democrats for decades.

    No new voter will register as a Democrat to vote Republican this year, except a small number who changed to vote for Hillary. The same-day registrations reflect exactly voter intentions, however. If you register in October as a Democrat, you are voting Obama.

    So, te 46-32 D-R ratio is actually more important with new registrants.

  •  Im shocked that neither C-Span guest predicted NC (0+ / 0-)

    would go for Obama as their shocking predictions just now on Wash Journal.  It was Reid Wilson from RCP & Peter Hart.

  •  despondent Republicans staying home (0+ / 0-)

    The head of the ticket is functionally the behind of a horse. Let them all stay home and watch the downticket mayhem ensue. Tell me again how Sarah "Prank Call Victim" Palin got on the ticket?

  •  So we're running +14 vs. 2004. (0+ / 0-)

    Dems are +5, Reps are -9 so a net of +14 over 2004.

    In 2004, Bush won the state by 12.  Plenty of "southern dems" in North Carolina.  So if McCain wins same share of Reps that Bush did and Obama wins same share of Dems that Kerry did, then we're up a whopping +2.  Higher AA turnout may increase Obama's dem margin; Bradley effect (this is NC - the state that sent Helms to office after Gantt was up in the polls) probably cancels that out.

    So we're ahead by a little.  2% out of 2.4 million means we're up 120,000 votes right now.  

    GOTV on Tuesday is key - have to find Obama supporters who have not yet voted and get their sorry butts to the polls.


    Democrats *do* have a plan for Social Security - it's called Social Security. -- Ed Schultz

    by FredFred on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 06:12:34 AM PST

    •  No evidence of Bradley effect in the South (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Actually, Obama overperformed the polls in the primaries in the South even disregarding high AA turnout.

      •  Obama's GOTV has reversed Gantt's problem (0+ / 0-)

        Obama exceeded the polls in the NC primary.

        Helms was better financed than Gantt and had nasty last minute ads.

        Obama has the money and the organization to exceed the polls.

        "It's the planet, stupid."

        by FishOutofWater on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 06:27:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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