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Early Voting 2012: After One Week

October 29, 2012 Politics-2012 No Comments

Kuff offers his take on Week One of EV. I’ll merely throw out a few datapoints for consideration of Harris County voting so far.

- Through Friday’s EV numbers, HD128 and HD150 just crossed over the 50% mark for the number of 2012 Early Voters compared to 2008. After Saturday’s numbers, they’re over 60%.

- The best ratio for a Dem-held House District is in HD143: 42.3%.

- Countywide, Saturday’s voters pushed the overall county over the 50% mark.

- Lest the above two points frighten any Dem, the overall standing of voters who have turned out look remarkably like 2008′s final numbers through Saturday voters.

- Week two generally picks up in Dem voting strength. How much? … there aren’t a lot of datapoints to suggest with certainty. But in 2010, it was enough of a gain to make 2012 a very good year for Dems if the pattern holds.

- That said, Harris County is officially a swing county at this point in time. All of these numbers basically suggest nothing more than that. Whoever works hardest and smartest carries the county on November 6th.

- Walter Shapiro is instructive reading on this topic. Though he talks about polls, I think the same applies to any measurement of voters that goes on. At best, what I do is simply point out that things look awfully familiar around here. In other words, we’re not being blown out 45-55 nor are we likely to romp by 60-40. It’s going to be close. And that means precious little to downballot Democratic candidates whose fate rests on things being similar to or better than 2008. All that can really be said is that we’re still in the hunt … and get back to campaigning all-out.

- The biggest unknown in Harris County is what the divide will be among Early Voters and E-Day voters. In 2008, Obama won Early & Mail 53.3% and lost E-Day with 45.6%. My hunch is that the early rush of GOP voters means they’ve caught up to what we did in 2008 and that E-Day will be a little more barren on both party’s voter rolls. There’s data I can roll out to support that claim. But the reality is that it’s just a hunch for now. So other than watching to see how closely my own scoring of EV measures with the first numbers that get posted, I’ll be watching to see if the disparity between EV and E-Day even out.

- The above point notwithstanding, I never fully bought the line in 2004 that suggested the GOP was done locating old white folks who never voted for a Republican President. Whether or not the same can be said in 2012 … draw your own conclusion.

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