OK, I'm an actuary. I love numbers. So I took some time to load the vote counts by county and state for 2004 and 2008 and see what the hell is going on with missing votes.
More details below the fold.
The biggest culprits, which shouldn't be totally surprising, are the West Coast states and Alaska. According to my calculations, as of late this afternoon, we're seeing the following:
AK - 29% fewer votes than 2004
CA - 18% fewer votes than 2004
OR - 19% fewer votes than 2004
WA - 19% fewer votes than 2004
For comparison, look at NC:
NC - ~22% MORE votes than 2004
Most states that seem to have counted all their votes are about 10% higher than 2004 (which is consistent with expected total votes of ~135M).
Which other states had increased turnout?
GA - 19% MORE votes than 2004 (and I think some early votes are still missing)
IN - 12% MORE votes than 2004
NV - 19% MORE votes than 2004
SC - 20% MORE votes than 2004
VA - 12% MORE votes than 2004 (updated -- lot more votes just came in, now +18%, and Obama's margin widened quite a bit. Now won by 5.6%).
Other states also seem to be odd, with the following 6 being the only states where Obama did worse than Kerry:
WV - 5% fewer votes than 2004, and Obama did worse by 1%. Have the early votes been counted?
OK - flat with 2004 and Obama matched Kerry (Did OK have early voting?)
AR - 4% MORE votes than 2004, and Obama did worse than Kerry by 6%. (Did AR have early voting?)
LA - 2% MORE votes than 2004, and Obama did worse by 2.6%. (Did LA have early voting, or did all the Democrats leave after Katrina?)
MA - Obama did worse by 1%, but this was Kerry's home state.
In every other state, Obama received a higher percent of the vote than Kerry (even DC, 93% for Obama vs 89% for Kerry).
So what's the point?
In CA, still likely to be 2.5M votes to count. Some of the counties with the biggest drop from 2004 to 2008 are Mendocino, Monterey, San Bernardino, San Francisco, Solano, and Sutter. So the vote on prop 8 will get closer when these absentee / early votes get counted.
AK still has a LOT of votes to count. Begich may still pull it off.
Obama's margin will continue to climb, and may hit 10 million by the time all the votes are counted. His percent margin may also get closer to 8%.
Question: Which states had early voting that may not have been counted yet?