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South Carolina may be on its way to setting a new record for people voting early with two of the state’s Democratic-leaning counties yielding the most robust voting thus far.

With less than a week before the election, nearly 127,000 South Carolinians have requested and been sent an absentee ballot so they can vote early. By comparison, nearly 76,000 voters, a record number, voted absentee in 2006, the last time South Carolina elected a governor.

Two Democratic-leaning counties, Richland and Charleston, have seen the most activity so far with nearly 25,000 ballots sent out by their respective voter registration offices.

McClatchy is running this story in both its Myrtle Beach and Columbia newspapers. This story is starting to play out across the south. It will be interesting if it's being driven by African American voters.

Many of you are probably familiar with the story that ran today on The Hill that wrote off several Southern Democratic incumbents, including John Spratt of South Carolina and Jim Marshall of Georgia.

The polling for The Hill piece was done by Mark Penn's organization, yes that Mark Penn whose campaign tactics led the Clintons to a dead-end in 2008.

The biggest question mark is the percentage of African Americans votes in these races. For example, in Marshall's race in Georgia, Penn assumes 23% African American turn-out, but Macon where Marshall's district is typically gets at least a 26% African American turnout.

African American turnout can make the difference in at least a dozen House races.

And, Nate Silver said today that a 2% difference in enough key races could help the Dems keep the house.
Over the next few days, Kossacks, let's keep our eyes and ears open on:
--African American early voting turnout, especially in the South

Originally posted to wtxdem on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 09:29 PM PDT.

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