Skip to main content

Early voting on Tuesday in NC was similar to early voting on Monday. 162,308 (plus unreported votes) people voted Tuesday, and Obama continues to expand on his (estimated!) 93,595 vote lead over Romney in banked votes. However, it appears that he is a bit below his 2008 margin at the same time 4 years ago vs. McCain. The reason why this is the case it that White Republicans are voting early at a higher rate than in 2008.

But the question is, does this actually really help Romney? Is Romney actually expanding the total number of votes he will get by turning out Republicans who did not vote in 2008, or is he merely transferring votes that McCain got from election day to early voting? We'll look at some evidence below.

To slightly modify the analogy I used on Day 3, this is the difference between using a tax loophole to avoid paying $10,000 in taxes and moving $10,000 from your Swiss bank account to your Cayman Islands bank account. Only the first transaction actually makes Mitt Romney wealthier (in other words, gets him more net total votes).


Click on the picture below for a full sized chart.

How many 2012 Early Voters also voted early in 2008?

To try and figure out whether or not the increased White Republican turnout is actually making Mitt Romney wealthier in votes, we'll take a look at what share of people who have voted early in 2012 also voted early in 2008.


We can see that out of 241,528 White registered Republicans who have voted already in 2012, 78,082 of them did not vote early in 2008.

We can also see that there is almost exactly the same number - 78,022 - of African Americans who have voted early in 2012 but did not vote early in 2008.

In addition, when you also count other Minority groups (Hispanic, Asian, Native American, etc) and White Democrats, there are 134,876 people, most of whom will have voted for Obama, who have already voted in 2012 but did not vote early in 2008. These 134,876 people are the 135k referenced in the diary's title.

Overall, this means that the share of White registered Republicans who have already voted in 2012 and who voted early in 2008 is 68%.

Similarly, the share of Minority + White registered Democrats who have already voted in 2012 and who voted early in 2008 is 70%.

Honestly, I am not quite sure of the best way to interpret this. But what I would have expected if Romney is really doing a good job of banking votes that he otherwise would not get on election day, that percentage should be significantly lower for White Republicans than for minorities and Democrats. Why? Because:

Since we know that John McCain won election day voters in a landslide in 2008, Romney simply has a bigger pool of 2008 election day voters to pull from election day voting into early voting. If Romney were doing a disproportionately better job in adding brand new votes than Obama, that should, I would think, show up in these numbers. But it doesn't seem to be there.

In order to really answer the question of whether Romney is getting wealthier in votes, or whether he is really just transferring some votes from his election day bank account to his early vote bank account, what we would need to do is look at how many of the people who have voted early in 2012 but did not vote early in 2008 voted on election day in 2008, as opposed to not having voted at all in 2008.

I would suspect that Obama is doing a better job of turning out that last not having voted at all category than in Romney, and if he is, that's the way that he can win North Carolina.

Unfortunately, as far as I can tell that information is not freely downloadable from the NC Board of Elections (but if anyone else can find it, let me know!).

Still, even with all the uncertainties, I think it's pretty clear that you'd rather be in President Obama's position ahead by ≈ 93,000 votes than in Romney's position, behind by ≈ 93,000 votes.

Maybe there are some people out there who think they know who will win North Carolina, but I am certainly not one of them... So, ... GOTV!

Shiny Graphs:

White GOP Turnout continues to exceed 2008 levels:


As does Minority + White Dem turnout!:


Obama's cumulative estimated margin has fallen a bit below 2008 so far this week. But remember, the whole question of whether that actually makes Romney wealthier is discussed extensively above:


And you can see the difference on Monday and Tuesday in the daily margins (but note that more votes keep being reported by counties - I am still adding every day more votes that were apparently cast even before OSEV started!!!):


Obama's cumulative percentage is dragged down by the higher GOP turnout (even if in actual raw votes it is cancelled out by higher Dem turnout).


And we see the same sort of thing on the daily percentages chart:


Previous NC Early Voting Diaries:

Day 1 & Methodology
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5

Originally posted to MattTX on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 09:23 AM PDT.

Also republished by North Carolina BLUE.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Overall, I would say that even if we don't (46+ / 0-)

    end up winning North Carolina, these numbers point to a relatively high enthusiasm among Obama voters and a stellar ground game.  This has implications for, say, Virginia and other swing states as well.

    For instance, if Romney only ends up winning NC by two points, you can bet your ass he's not flipping VA this election cycle.

  •  I'm more interested in this (7+ / 0-)

    than the TMZ stuff about Romney

  •  I would say at this point (12+ / 0-)

    that we are probably a bit short in NC.  We won in 2008 with a perfect storm, and not sure we have that this year....  

    What is encouraging, however, is the incredible ground game/enthusiasm that is on display.  This bodes extremely well for other states and gives me confidence that we can pull out Virginia and Florida.

  •   this is good news. (17+ / 0-)

    I think Obama takes NC and i do think we need to keep voting.
    You can call it early voting, but the fact is that this is the election and romney is losing. i will take that any day.

    early voting has been getting a lot of coverage here in NC
    the voters are responding in both camps, but the demos are responding better. thats my take anyway

    and thanks mattTX for the great series

    "With malice toward none, with charity for all..." -Abraham Lincoln not a modern republican

    by live1 on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 09:39:12 AM PDT

  •  NC may cross million vote threshold today (13+ / 0-)

    NC may cross the million vote cast threshold after today's voting. Several counties are expanding the number of early vote sites, Wake (Raleigh/Cary) goes from 8 to 16 today (preplanned addition). The State Board of Elections Monday asked counties to consider adding hours/days to ease long lines
    http://projects.newsobserver.com/...
    about half the counties currently end weekday hours at 5 pm, and only 59 are voting this Satarday and 19 this Sunday. all counties have hours the final day, Saturday November 3.

  •  Youth breakdown? (7+ / 0-)

    Do you have a breakdown of how many young voters (18-22) have voted early so far in North Carolina?  By law, those voters would not have been able to vote in 2008 so that would count as entirely new votes in Obama's column.

    Also, does your chart give a portion of White Dem voters to Romney and a portion of White GOP voters to Obama (based on percentages from '08 exit polls, maybe)?

    I'd assume Romney will peel off some of those votes, and vice versa.

    Thanks for this great daily analysis.  I love reading it.  And I agree, this is a wonderful display of both general Dem enthusiasm and the OFA ground game.

  •  50,000 more AA voters than 4 years ago already (19+ / 0-)

    This is amazing. When Souls to the Polls runs on Sunday, this number will grow even more.
    Right now, AA are 30% of the total and Minorities +AA = 32% of the total votes cast.
    This is simply fantastic.  Source

    Don't forget to register to vote here: http://netrootsradio.blogspot.com/p/register-to-vote.html

    by bepanda on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 09:50:33 AM PDT

  •  Great diaries! Thanks for them. A question for a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MattTX, elwior

    stats challenged dude like myself... from what I can tell, these numbers would seem to indicate that O will likely lose NC, but rather narrowly, correct?

  •  getting nervous .. GOTV Obama folks!! (4+ / 0-)

    I have to admit, the numbers are making me nervous. Today and yesterday Obama's numbers have matched 2008, while Romney's have been higher. I understand the idea that maybe Romney is just turning out those who voted on election day 2008, but certainly is Obama.

    I think for Obama to really win in NC, he has to do at least as good as 2008 and he seems to be falling short (assuming no one is tapping the well of voters who voted on election day 2008). He only won the state by some 14k votes out of 4M, a fairly thin margin.

    While I'm happy Obama seems to be ahead .. I want to see the Obama turn out improve. GOTV people .. this election is too important and too close for my comfort.

    Change the world. Ask questions.

    by AstroCook on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 10:00:00 AM PDT

    •  What your not considering, AstroCook is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, Check077

      How many more votes President Obama got in Days 1 thru 4 in 2012 than he did in 2008.  Those numbers are considerably higher.  The numbers would make up the difference.   They just got to the polls earlier :)

      He's doing fine......and he will win!

      •  All numbers are higher (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        highacidity, elwior

        Just because more people vote doesn't mean a victory. The tide is higher, and all boats are being lifted this is without a doubt a truth. But where I have concern is that an Obama victory in NC will only happen IF Romney is using up votes from people who voted on election day 2008. I know MattTX showed some evidence for this, but will it be enough. This on-site registration and voting makes it tricky for a true prediction in a close election.

        Obama has the speed, but the momentum is still open (nationally, I think it is still in Obama's favor, and Romney his a glass ceiling after debate 1) because we'd be kidding ourselves if we don't expect a big R splash on election.

        Change the world. Ask questions.

        by AstroCook on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 10:24:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There's also a huge dump of votes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MattTX, elwior

    from Colorado:

    325,810 votes

    Party ID:

    DEM: 37.1%
    GOP: 38.8%
    IND: 24.0%

  •  are #s available for news regs during one-stop? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, MattTX, highacidity

    Maybe the easiest way to test if Republicans are actually identifying new voters is to look just at the voter registrations performed during one-stop early voting. I don't know if this data is being released right now.

    i looked at the ftp site but didn't find it. (I believe that when a voter is categorized as one-stop that they are not separating out those people who registered to vote during one-stop early voting.)

    BTW, yesterday i published a diary where i said that Obama took an additional 1% of the total NC vote (compared to pre-election polls) just because of the people that registered during one-stop voting. (Basically, I estimated that Obama took a margin of 45,000 voters from the total 250,000 that registered during one-stop early voting.) Also, there's the important idea that these folks would not be included in a poll unless they were contacted after registering and voting.

  •  Early voted yesterday (6+ / 0-)

    We voted yesterday around noon in  Brevard, NC (NC mountains).  I asked the volunteer how things were going and she said it had been steady all day.  There is only one early voting site; small town in a small county.  The county claims 25,000 pop. and city 7500.  It's conservative but turning blue slowly.  I counted about 15 in line ahead of us; mostly middle aged and older.  3 people were registering and voting.  As I left, I counted the recycled voting cards: 4 Repub and 1 Dem, but a lot had their own lists!  

  •  A bold reminder that elections have consequences. (7+ / 0-)

    "It strikes me as gruesome and comical that in our culture we have an expectation that a man can always solve his problems" - Kurt Vonnegut

    by jazzence on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 10:17:45 AM PDT

  •  Yank here needing explanation of NC gov's race nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity, elwior, Mnemosyne

    "Are you bluish? You don't look bluish," attributed to poet Roger Joseph McGough, for the Beatles' Yellow Submarine (1968).

    by BlueStateRedhead on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 10:18:49 AM PDT

  •  I thought early voting was open. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MattTX, highacidity, elwior

    Yesterday I went to the Rural Hall Library, and they had a sign that said they will be open for voting Oct.29. Is this right?

    "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government" T. Jefferson

    by azureblue on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 10:19:59 AM PDT

    •  Are you in NC? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83, elwior

      NC early voting started on Oct 18.

    •  There are 15 Early Voting Sites in Forsyth County (7+ / 0-)

      Lots of choices if you don't want to wait.

      FORSYTH     FORSYTH COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS OFFICE
      201 N CHESTNUT ST
      WINSTON SALEM, NC 27101       
      Thursday, October 18 - Friday, October 19    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      Monday, October 22 - Friday, October 26    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      Saturday, October 27    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      Sunday, October 28    1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      Monday, October 29 - Friday, November 2    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      Saturday, November 3    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      14TH STREET REC CENTER
      2020N E FOURTEENTH ST
      WINSTON SALEM, NC 27105   
      Tuesday, October 23 - Wednesday, October 24    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Thursday, October 25 - Saturday, October 27    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      Monday, October 29 - Wednesday, October 31    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Thursday, November 1 - Saturday, November 3    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      BROWN COUGLAS REC CENTER
      4725 INDIANA AVE
      WINSTON SALEM, NC 27105   
      Monday, October 29 - Wednesday, October 31    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Thursday, November 1 - Saturday, November 3    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      CLEMMONS LIBRARY
      3554 CLEMMONS RD
      CLEMMONS, NC 27012   
      Tuesday, October 23 - Wednesday, October 24    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Thursday, October 25 - Saturday, October 27    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      Monday, October 29 - Wednesday, October 31    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Thursday, November 1 - Saturday, November 3    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      HARPER HILL SHOPPING CENTER
      150 GRANT HILL LN
      WINSTON SALEM, NC 27104   
      Monday, October 29 - Wednesday, October 31    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Thursday, November 1 - Saturday, November 3    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      KERNERSVILLE SENIOR CENTER
      130 E MOUNTAIN ST
      KERNERSVILLE, NC 27284   
      Tuesday, October 23 - Wednesday, October 24    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Thursday, October 25 - Saturday, October 27    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      Monday, October 29 - Wednesday, October 31    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Thursday, November 1 - Saturday, November 3    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      LEWISVILLE LIBRARY
      6490 SHALLOWFORD RD
      LEWISVILLE, NC 27023   
      Monday, October 29 - Wednesday, October 31    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Thursday, November 1 - Saturday, November 3    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      MAZIE WOODRUFF
      4905 LANSING DR
      WINSTON SALEM, NC 27105   
      Tuesday, October 23 - Wednesday, October 24    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Thursday, October 25 - Saturday, October 27    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      Monday, October 29 - Wednesday, October 31    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Thursday, November 1 - Saturday, November 3    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      OLD TOWN REC CENTERE
      4550 SHATTALON DR
      WINSTON SALEM, NC 27106   
      Tuesday, October 23 - Wednesday, October 24    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Thursday, October 25 - Saturday, October 27    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      Monday, October 29 - Wednesday, October 31    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Thursday, November 1 - Saturday, November 3    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      POLO PARK REC CENTER
      1850 POLO RD
      WINSTON SALEM, NC 27106   
      Monday, October 29 - Wednesday, October 31    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Thursday, November 1 - Saturday, November 3    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      RURAL HALL LIBRARY
      7125 BROAD ST
      RURAL HALL, NC 27045   
      Monday, October 29 - Wednesday, October 31    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Thursday, November 1 - Saturday, November 3    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      SEDGE GARDEN REC CENTER
      401 ROBBINS RD
      WINSTON SALEM, NC 27107   
      Monday, October 29 - Wednesday, October 31    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Thursday, November 1 - Saturday, November 3    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      SOUTHSIDE LIBRARY
      3185 BUCHANAN ST
      WINSTON SALEM, NC 27127   
      Tuesday, October 23 - Wednesday, October 24    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Thursday, October 25 - Saturday, October 27    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      Monday, October 29 - Wednesday, October 31    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Thursday, November 1 - Saturday, November 3    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      WALKERTOWN LIBRARY
      2969 MAIN ST
      WALKERTOWN, NC 27051   
      Monday, October 29 - Wednesday, October 31    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Thursday, November 1 - Saturday, November 3    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      WSSU ANDERSON CENTER
      800 PRICE ST
      WINSTON SALEM, NC 27107   
      Monday, October 29 - Wednesday, October 31    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Thursday, November 1 - Saturday, November 3    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      http://www.app.sboe.state.nc.us/...

      NC-4 (soon to be NC-6) Obama/Biden 2012

      by bear83 on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 10:30:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  google for "early voting" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior

      and your county. You'll find dates, times, locations.

      "There are no Americans at the airport!" -- Baghdad Bob
      "I’ve got a very effective campaign." -- Mitt Romney

      by Mnemosyne on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 11:15:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  About this new Republican interest in GOTV, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MattTX, highacidity, elwior, irmaly

    how are they turning voters out early? With a ground-game? No matter how much money they have, aside from the inexorable dying-out of their would-be target demographic, how are they getting people to walk from door-to-door? Are they using retired people? Are they hiring "volunteers" by the signature? ("By collecting signatures for the Republicans, you can average enough to feed your family and keep a roof over during election season." Hah!)

    It's hopeless. Want to tell them they should throw in the towel, and save the buckaroonies for some other strategy to reel in voters, as yet un-determined.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 10:22:21 AM PDT

  •  A quick question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior

    I've been following your series here, albeit not super closely.

    Can you explain how the actual vote totals are known per day (and cumulatively)?  Are they actually being tabulated and reported on a daily basis, or are you inferring vote totals for Obama and Romney based on other in-direct records (like # of reg'd Democrats/Republicans voting on a specific day, etc.).

    #RomneyRyan2012: Because one white, rich, male Republican asshole is never enough.

    by mconvente on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 10:23:09 AM PDT

    •  They're not tabulated or strictly known (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      highacidity, elwior, distraught

      I am estimating them based off of %s drawn from 2008 exit polls + common sense. Check out the day 1 diary for a full methodology explanation.

      •  OK, so you're estimating based on 2008 exits (0+ / 0-)

        I thought exit polls are notorious for being not that accurate.

        But even beyond that, how are you getting ethnicity percentages for the 2012 early votes, especially if there is no way to account for actual early votes?

        You write this in your methodology, which you pointed me to above:

        What we are comparing is simply voter turnout, but not necessarily who each voter votes for. To get these estimates, we are comparing the demographics and party registration of early voters from 2008 vs. the demographics and party registration of early voters from 2012.   This assumption is not realistic, but it is more realistic for North Carolina than for most other states, because North Carolina has relatively few true "swing voters."
        Bold my emphasis.

        So if you the know the party registration and race of 2012 early voters, you are estimating who they voted for based on exit poll data from 2008 of who those specific demographics voted for.  Which introduces the error of exit polls.

        But if you don't know the ethnicity of 2012 voters and just party registration (i.e - did they sign the Democratic book or Republican book before voting), then you are introducing even more error by assuming that the ethnicity breakdowns will be the same as in 2008.

        And if you don't know any of that (i.e. - how many Dems, Repubs, Indies voted in a day), then how the heck are you computing any of this "data".

        I enjoy the enthusiasm, but this all just doesn't add up to me.  You're estimating vote totals down to individual votes using methods that either introduce one or two steps of error.  And you even admit that doing so is unrealistic, but you justify it saying that the number of undecideds in NC is low.

        Hell, I've even tipped and rec'd some of your diaries in this series, mostly because I didn't have the time to do ask about your methodology.  But now I wish I hadn't to be honest.

        #RomneyRyan2012: Because one white, rich, male Republican asshole is never enough.

        by mconvente on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 12:27:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not sure what you are arguing ... (0+ / 0-)

          Here is the break down by race, and others

          The state's racial composition in the 2010 Census:[49]

              White: 68.5% (65.3% non-Hispanic white)
              Black or African American: 21.5%
              Hispanic or Latino (of any race): 8.4%
              Asian: 2.2%
              Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.1%
              Some other race: 4.3%
              Two or more races: 2.2%

          AA are currently representing about 30% of the people who have voted early. Non-Whites are about 33% of those who have voted. All these numbers are higher than 2008. If we assume that these folks will vote are about the same percentage as they did in 2008 (or even slightly below that), then It is clear that Obama is gaining voters, unless there is really a massive shift White voters.
          Something similar can be said about the Youth vote. Young voters are up almost 40%. They usually favor the President.

          Of course there is no way to know for sure, but what we are saying is, these numbers are reason for great optimism, assuming things remain as is or don't dip too much.

          Don't forget to register to vote here: http://netrootsradio.blogspot.com/p/register-to-vote.html

          by bepanda on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 12:54:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How do you know the racial breakdown #s (0+ / 0-)

            That's really my question.  Is that being official tabulated somehow or is that being estimated based on how many Democratic, Republican, Indie-registered people have voted early.  

            And as I mentioned above, how is party reg even being determined?  By counting directly how many Dems, Repubs, Indies have voted early (i.e. - by counting signatures in the registration books that people sign before they vote), another method, etc.   Or is that estimated as well.

            In order for anyone to even start estimating Obama vs. Romney early votes, you have to have some actual hard data somewhere.  So what is actually the hard data coming from NC for 2012 early voting?  I don't know why that is so hard to understand from my questions above...

            #RomneyRyan2012: Because one white, rich, male Republican asshole is never enough.

            by mconvente on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 01:04:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Did you click on the link in the previous message? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mconvente

              When you register in NC, you have to specify your Name, Age, Address, Race, Party affiliation, ... It is all part of your voter record.

              Race is Mandatory. And of course, you specify "Others".
              When you vote, your vote is tracked. At this point, nobody knows who you have voted for, but people know if you have voted or not.

              Click onthis link.

              Don't forget to register to vote here: http://netrootsradio.blogspot.com/p/register-to-vote.html

              by bepanda on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 02:15:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I don't at all claim (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          susanWAstate, mconvente

          That my methodology is perfect. You rightly point out some ways that it could be improved (if I had more time to spend on it and if I had more data).

          I do think, however, that it is better than anything else you can get from anywhere else (that I know of), unless you are David Axelrod or someone like that.

          To address what seem to be your main points:

          1) Exit polls are not accurate - I totally agree.

          2) Race/Ethnicity - We do actually know the race/ethnicity of voters, because you have to report your race when registering to vote in NC. So this data is accurate.

          3) This doesn't take into account any possible swing in voter preferences - Totally true, and I said that up front. The point of this is to compare whether voter turnout is more favorable or unfavorable than in 2008 in a more rigorous way than simply looking at party registration or race in isolation. Note I say "more rigorous" - not "ideal." For example, this methodology could be better if we took into account age, gender, and the %s that each precinct voted for Obama in 2008. But I didn't do that because it would have been too complicated, would have taken me more time than I had to spend on this, and I don't really have the data to do that. Basically what we're doing is combining race and party registration in one measure and weighting them based on their historical voting patterns. That certainly doesn't tell you everything, but it is more informative than knowing that e.g. ~30% of voters are African American.

          •  OK, at least you have some hard data (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MattTX

            That was my main point with my comments above.  You need to have hard data somewhere.  I guess collecting ethnicity data is a North Carolina thing.  At minimum, it certainly isn't a Pennsylvania thing (which is where I'm currently registered to vote).

            This is probably a lot of work, so maybe just do it for the final early voting total, but perhaps you can run some confidence interval-like scenarios accounting for the actual ethnicity percentages, and then a best case and worst case scenarios (i.e. - say Hispanic voters were 12%, so compute 9% and 15% for worst and best, and see what that does to the estimated total for Obama vs. Romney).  That way we can see what a good guess of the worst-case scenario is and how much of a cushion Obama will have.

            #RomneyRyan2012: Because one white, rich, male Republican asshole is never enough.

            by mconvente on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 08:11:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It is different for PA (0+ / 0-)

              Yeah, you're right. It is an NC thing. It is like this for NC and a few other states. Because of the Voting Rights Act, they collect race data from everyone who registers to vote, whereas in PA you just register with a Party (or independent).

              There's no confidence interval needed, however. The data was provided individually on a voter by voter basis, by the voters themselves. So generally it should be about as accurate as census data.

              You're right though more broadly, and especially towards the end I'll run through scenarios. The biggest issue concerns with uncertainty about how White Dems and White Unaffiliateds are voting. Are they are swinging substantially towards Romney or not?

      •  also, "common sense" isn't up to snuff for stats (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MattTX

        It just doesn't work that way...

        #RomneyRyan2012: Because one white, rich, male Republican asshole is never enough.

        by mconvente on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 12:32:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What I mean by that (0+ / 0-)

          Is, for example, exit polls in 2008 did not have a large enough sample of Hispanics in order to estimate the % of non-African American minorities that voted for Obama in 2008. So I used "common sense" and looked to the national exit polls, and so I assigned them 2 to 1 to Obama. Again, if I had better data and more time, I definitely would do that differently, but all in all, I think it is pretty likely to be accurate enough for our purposes.

  •  Early voted yesterday (14+ / 0-)

    here in my red, eastern county. For a bit of perspective this county voted 76% in favor of Amendment One  this past May, and I think McCain won about 55% in '08.  My husband/partner and I arrived at the rural Woodmen of the World polling place about 2PM. We waited in line for about 40-45 minutes. The average age of those  in line appeared to be about 55-60. Approximately 20% black voters in line.
    Several times the poll workers walked down the line asking if anyone needed to register that day, and there were no takers for same day registration.
    The older black lady in front of me had her ballot rejected by the machine because she didn't fill in the ovals completely, but the guy explained to her that she needed to go back to the booth and completely color in all her ovals. I found it interesting that she had attempted to separately mark the dem candidate in each race rather than simply marking the straight dem ticket.

    I of course voted Obama/Biden followed by a straight Dem ticket, and then on the flip side voted  Sam Ervin lV, Linda McGee, Wanda Bryant and Cressie Thigpen in the "non-partisan" judges races.

    •  Voted this morning (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CoyoteMarti, askew

      in Guilford county. I got in and out in 15 minutes, but I got in line at 10 sharp. The machines were always full. The turnout was mature, about 70% black. I felt hopeful. Then, this afternoon I got a knock on the door, from a Dem. encouraging me to vote early. I had already had a previous visit before voting started to remind me to vote. So the GOTV ground game is on the money in Greensboro.

  •  I think what's most important here (10+ / 0-)

    Is that Obama is boosting his raw totals from 2008.  There were a lot of unlikely voters in 2008 who didn't vote as well as those voters who are new voters since 2008 who Obama needs to turn out for him.  Additionally, Obama's top line numbers show that he's ghot the same enthusiasm level as in 2008.  

    Check out my new blog: http://socalliberal.wordpress.com/

    by SoCalLiberal on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 10:29:49 AM PDT

  •  Writing a diary on Pat McCrory/Dalton race (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MattTX, highacidity, elwior, distraught

    Will publish later tonight or tomorrow, depending on time to finish the polishing. If McCrory wins, NC is screwed. He will gut early voting and lots of other things that make voting easy for everyone.

    Don't forget to register to vote here: http://netrootsradio.blogspot.com/p/register-to-vote.html

    by bepanda on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 10:30:48 AM PDT

    •  if McCrory wins, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, scamperdo

      Dems will have to continue their GOTV and voter-education efforts for the next four years.

      It should be made easier by the huge numbers of new voters this time, who will thus be easier to reach and who can then, one hopes, reach their friends and family with the information.

      /signed, Pollyanna

      "There are no Americans at the airport!" -- Baghdad Bob
      "I’ve got a very effective campaign." -- Mitt Romney

      by Mnemosyne on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 11:19:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  An easy way to estimate is to assume (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MattTX, elwior, amsterdam

    that all the exta votes above 2008 number are simple shifts from the election day (ie, simple assumption that there are no new voters) and see how much the margin should be if that were the case.

    Remember on election day Obama got roughly 42% and McCain got 58% of the votes. So of the cumulative total extra votes over 2008 so far of 172k votes, 72k should be Obama votes and 100k should be McCain votes. Thus Obama total at this point would have been
    Obama's 2008 number + 72k (i.e., 172k*42%)
    Put it simply,  prediction for Obama at this point is:
    383k+72k=455k
    and prediction for Romney total at this point is
    266k+100k=366k
    This would predict a net margin for Obama of 89k votes.

    The actual Obama margin of 93k votes is very, very close to this number. The cumulative totals of 457k for Obama and 364k for Romney are also very, very close to the predictions above using simple arithmatics. It means that even if Romney were able to add new votes, they are matched pretty well by new votes from the Obama side. The result will probably be a few thousand vote difference at the end.

  •  If more GOPers are voting early, but are within (7+ / 0-)

    the pollster's definition of a likely voter, then it won't help them.  In fact, even if Obama's margins are slightly lower than his 2008 margin over McCain through the early voting period, it actually means that Obama has a better chance to win the state.

    If Obama is adding enough unlikely voters to maintain a healthy margin over Romney in early voting, it means that he has a large pool of likely voters who will vote on election day.  That pool will offset Romney's push, especially if a portion of Romney's likely voters have already voted early.  That would mean Romney's pool of election day voters has diminished.

    Keep in mind, McCain crushed it on election day in NC.  He just barely lost that state despite the high early vote advantage for Dems.  This year, the fundamentals of the race are shaping up in a way where Obama might actually have a better election day performance while maintaining a healthy margin over Romney in the early vote (though perhaps not as high as the 2008 race).  That would be the optimal result and the data we're seeing thus far is consistent with that possible outcome.  We just don't know what percentage of GOP early voters are likely voters or sporadic voters.  

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 10:40:11 AM PDT

  •  Other interesting numbers. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, scamperdo, deerang

    2008 at this point in the race:

    White voters: 67%
    Non-White: 33 %

    2012 race:
    White Voters: 64%
    Non-White: 36%

    =========
    Even though Republicans are voting in larger numbers, the percentage of minorities is increasing tremendously.
    OFA has focused mostly on this demographic, because they are very likely Dem.

    There is in NC a very large number of non-White who are eligible to vote, who weren't even registered.

    You can see these numbers here.

    You can click on compare to 2008 to have them side by side in two browsers.

    Don't forget to register to vote here: http://netrootsradio.blogspot.com/p/register-to-vote.html

    by bepanda on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 10:55:44 AM PDT

  •  When did EV begin? Here's the "tell" (9+ / 0-)

    I ran into a fine and wise Afro-American community leader last night. I was moaning about the fact that every Obama sign in our neighborhood was trashed the first night it went up.

    He said: "Signs don't vote. People do. I've got 3 charter busses for EV after Church on Sunday. Watch those numbers!"

    Is this Sunday an open EV day in NC? If so, watch those numbers.

  •  A few more turnout stats for NC (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, amsterdam, distraught, MattTX

    Through Tuesday, 12.4% of registered voters have voted. This includes:

    14.7% of Democrats
    12.1% of Republicans
    8.9% of Unaffiliated
    7.7% of Libertatians

    11.2% of White voters
    17.1% of Black Voters
    8.9% of other voters

    Based on ballots cast, turnout (+21D) has included:
    51.3% D
    30.2% R
    18.4% U
    0.17% L

    By registration, NC is 43 D - 31 R - 26 U (+12 D)

    Also based on ballots cast, turnout has been:
    65% White
    31% Black
    4% Other

    By registration, NC is 71% White - 22% Black - 7% Other

    ftp://www.app.sboe.state.nc.us/...

    NC-4 (soon to be NC-6) Obama/Biden 2012

    by bear83 on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 10:58:47 AM PDT

  •  Come on North Carolina!!! (10+ / 0-)

    I am rooting for you here in Colorado.

    I already voted, so did hubby and son.  3 votes for PBO and my husband is an R

    Waiting for my daughters ballot to return from MN so I can drop it off this week.

    GOTV people.  I am volunteering a couple of shifts this weekend for OFA.

  •  Maybe I'm misunderstanding this... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior

    But doesn't this indicate a signifigant number of Dems and Minority voters are voting for Mitt?

    I expected some defections but not nearly 30%.

    The GOP believe in redistribution of wealth, as long as it's from the many to the few.

    by president raygun on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 11:11:18 AM PDT

  •  Another Piece of Great Early Voting News from NC! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, kefauver, MattTX

    This is awesome!

    Funny, I had to endure about 5 minutes of FOX News today and the blonde anchor woman's guest was talking about how Obama was pulling out of NC, and VA and FL are soon to follow. I was like "Typical FOX BS."

     Axelrod came out yesterday claiming that not only was Team Obama staying in those states, it was also going to spend more ad money in them as well. It's not hard to tell who FOX is pulling for and they lie as much as their man Mitt.

    I hope people also remember that North Carolina did not go for Obama until a day or so after the 2008 election. So, even if Obama keeps the race tight in NC, that's a good sign.

    I miss Speaker Pelosi :^(

    by howarddream on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 11:11:43 AM PDT

  •  BTW, OFA placed a cool data request into SBOE (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MattTX

    on the ftp site, there are some files that were generated for OFA in early August. OFA apparently requested three different lists with the names of people dating back to just after the 2008 election. List 1 (had more people than my Excel could handle and) lists people whose voter registrations were discontinued (i think mainly because of moving, death, inactive voters and some for felony convictions). List 2 (18,097 people) were people whose voter registrations were denied. List 3 (49,841 people) were people whose voter registrations were incomplete.  Hopefully, list 3 has been targeted.

  •  The ONLY numbers that matter in N. Carolina (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The grouch, MattTX

    in my view, are these:

    A) Number of 2008 Obama voters who switched to Romney

    B) Number of first-time voters for Romney

    C) Number of first-time voters for Obama

    Given that NC in 2008 was basically a tie and assuming that relatively few McCain voters switched to Obama compared to those going the other way, if C > A+B, Obama wins.

    I don't know how you might estimate that based on the numbers here. The horse race on banked early votes is not telling; as is pointed out, we don't know how many of the early voting numbers are being subtracted from election day numbers. That's true for both sides, since both are pushing harder for early votes than last cycle.

    The reason early voting helps Obama is that it gives the campaign a longer period to identify and motivate supporters to actually go vote, and a smaller universe of remaining supporters to contact on the final big push of election day. Early vote also limits the likelihood that long lines or last-minute confusion will dent Obama's numbers, since those things tend to hurt Democrats much more.

    It looks like there were about 4.27 million NC voters in 2008. If Obama is polling roughly 4 behind now (538 forecast) he needs between 170K and 200K more new votes that are NOT showing up in polls yet compared to what Romney gets, to compensate. If the polls tighten by one point he needs 120 to 150K more.

    So Obama needs to run up a 200K margin among "unlikely voters" and voters who were, until now, unregistered, and therefore haven't appeared in the polls.

    As those voters come in, I don't expect them to be steady; they will come in waves and you can't easily predict their trajectory. The Obama campaign should be focused on getting them out early, but they'll probably balloon closer to election day or other deadlines because people tend to procrastinate.

    Again, we can't decipher the crucial numbers solely by who's voting early, although there may be imbedded signs that somebody who knows more than I do about NC voting could explore.

    NC isn't a very "swingy" state; competitiveness is mostly based on demographic changes and more people vote reliably party-line than in other states. So that's hopeful for Obama that the changes are in his favor. I hope he can pull it off!

  •  Well I know of two early voters since yesterday. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MattTX

    Someone I work with voted yesterday and my dear g/f voted today. And I know for a fact that at least ONE of those was a vote for the good guys.  I suspect the other one was as well.  And two other co-workers voted over the weekend, with a third heading to the polls soon.  And all of them will vote Blue.

    I still say that the candidate that ignores NC does so at his peril.  There are 15 EV's here waiting to be won, and Obama's ground game is a lot better, no matter what the plurality of yard signs might indicate.

    I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

    by mojo11 on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 02:09:41 PM PDT

  •  So Obama's down 3.3% from 2008. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MattTX

    I'll take that.

    http://mypolitikal.com/

    by Inoljt on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 04:50:28 PM PDT

  •  Onslow County (0+ / 0-)

    I voted Monday and there was a good turnout. The early vote makes a huge difference. While leaving the polls I ran into 4 people from church that will be voting for Romney, elderly and very conservative. They told me that many of the GOP are voting early to save time in standing in line Election Day. Interesting. Our county is very transient with military and government contractors. The polls that are taken in this area are inconsistent due to pollsters calling the military and asking who they will vote for and not realizing many of the military will actually not vote. I find this sad being a prior service Marine. The military here is hard pressed to take interest in their community. They should vote but judging by past local and national elections they don't turn out. The locals are the chunk of voters. I think it is  important no matter where my family gets stationed I prepare myself to vote! I always spoke to my young Marines of the importance and told them to use absentee ballots, crickets... I think NC will show their support for POTUS!

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site