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Since yesterday's update, we found some missing voters, thanks to commenter dean4ever. Not all counties always manage to update their early vote numbers in time for the statewide update, so some votes will keep trickling in from previous days. Taking these voters into account, Obama is doing better than previously thought. For example, my previous diary said that Day 1 turnout was 156,129 votes. But now, with the late updating counties included, we are up to 171,055. Because of the late updating counties problem, these diaries will tend to underestimate actual turnout to some degree, for the most recent days.

Click on the picture below for a full sized chart.

Turnout so far in 2012 early voting can only be described as epic. Yesterday's diary reported that turnout was up 26.6% above 2008. Now with updated data, turnout is 36.6% above 2008. And that number will only go up even further if there are still some counties lagging behind.

Overall, Obama appears to be building up an early vote margin right in line with the early vote margin he built up in 2008. In fact, Saturday was even better than the same Saturday in 2008. But because early turnout is higher, it could be harder for Romney to make up the difference on election day than it was for McCain in 2008, because there may not be as many Romney voters left over for election day. More of the Obama early voters are new voters who would not be able to vote on election day if they did not vote right now, whereas most of the Romney early voters would otherwise just vote on election day.

In sum, 2008 is happening again in North Carolina, only the turnout is even higher.

More on that later; now let's take a look at those 42,709 new voters.

42,709 Unlikely Voters... who have voted...

North Carolina's One Stop Early Voting law allows people to register to vote and to cast their ballots early, all at the same time, all in one stop. But don't take my word for it; President Obama and Vice President Biden explain how it works in this video:


Yesterday, I speculated that more of those Minorities and White Democrats who are voting right now are newly registered voters - they are "unlikely voters" who do not pass a telephone poll's registered voter screen, much less a likely voter screen. At the same time, I speculated that more of the White Republicans who are voting early are people who normally vote, but vote on election day.

But I didn't have any evidence to back this up, because new voter registration statistics had not been released.

Well, new voter registration statistics have been released, and so now we have the evidence to back up that speculation. This is an over-generalization, but broadly Obama is indeed turning out new voters, whereas Romney is turning out the same old voters.

In total, 324,780 people voted in One-Stop Early Voting on Thursday and Friday. Of those, 42,709 were brand new previously unregistered voters. They did not pass any poll's "likely voter" screen, nor did they even pass any poll's registered voter screen. And yet, they voted. And it is clear that they voted overwhelmingly for Obama (probably by about 2 to 1).

Here's who those 42,709 brand new voters are:

Party Registration:

Democrats - 20,792 (48.7%)
Republicans - 8,699 (20.4%)
Libertarians - 604 (1.4%)
Unaffiliated - 12,614 (29.5%)

Race:

White - 19,041 (44.6%)
Black - 13,470 (31.5%)
American Indian - 510 (1.2%)
Hispanic - 2,706 (6.3%)
Other - 9,688 (22.7%)

Gender:

Male - 19,077 (47.0%)
Female - 20,055 (53.0%)

Total - 42,709 (100%)

Now why is this significant, you ask?

Because it means that Obama is adding to his final vote total in early voting, whereas Romney is just moving some of his votes from Election Day to now, without actually increasing the total number of votes he will receive by nearly as much as Obama.

That's the difference between finding $5 lying on the street, and moving $5 from your left pocket to your right pocket. Only the first transaction actually makes you richer.

Now, how do those 42,709 new voters look on a map?

In a word, very blue. This map shows the % of the 42,709 new voters in each county who registered Democratic, as a share of those who registered D or R (not counting Libertarian and Unaffiliated):

And this map shows the % of the 42,709 new voters in each county who are non-white:

And there are still two weeks of One Stop Early Voting left, so I have a feeling we will be hearing more from these new voters.

Saturday Early Voting:

On Saturday, turnout was much higher than on the first Saturday of OSEV in 2008. 61,057 people (and that number could go up if there are some slow-reporting counties) voted in 2012, whereas only 40,578 voted on the first Saturday in 2008.

Turnout is up among White Republicans, but is also up among Minorities and White Democrats:



The cumulative vote margin is just about in line with 2008. It is slightly lower right now, but most of that is due to the votes cast by mail before OSEV began, and this may go up as more votes trickle in:


In the daily vote margin chart, you can see that Obama did better this Saturday than he did on the same Saturday in 2008:


The cumulative vote percentage chart shows the vote percentages for Obama. Even though higher GOP turnout is being cancelled out by higher Dem turnout in terms of vote margins, the percentages are dragged down a bit:


On Saturday, Obama's daily vote percentage caught up with 2008:


Previous NC Early Voting Diaries:

Day 1 & Methodology

Day 2

Originally posted to MattTX on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 09:07 AM PDT.

Also republished by North Carolina BLUE.

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