Monday, November 03, 2008

Somethin's happenin' here....

Interesting early voter turnout numbers.

Florida leads in terms of raw numbers of voters: 4,107,894, which is 52% of the total number of votes cast in Florida in 2004. That breaks down to 45.5% Democrats, v. 40.7% of Democrats in 2004.

California is second in terms of raw numbers, with 3,293,617, or 25.8% of the number of votes cast in 2004.

Texas is actually second in percentage of votes cast, but third in raw numbers: 3,117,005, which is 42.1% of the 2004 vote total. (Note, too, this is only for the 15 largest counties in Texas; but Texas has 254 counties, many of them rural and sparsely populated, so the vote totals wouldn't change significantly if all were tallied.)

Interesting, too: in 2004, the early vote turnout ended up being 36.1% of the vote total in Florida, 33.2% of the California total, and 51.1% of the Texas vote total. However, these numbers end as of October 30. Early voting in Texas ended on October 31, and 87,000+ votes were cast in Harris County (basically Houston) alone on that last day. Just to put the Harris County numbers in perspective:

The combined figure of 733,771 equals about 37 percent of the county's registered voters and for the first time may be higher than the number who vote on Election Day for the offices of president, U.S. Senate, U.S. House and several local positions.
And what does this mean for Tuesday? Well, if that historical 51.1% holds:

A combined total of about 730,000 for early voting and 700,000 more on Tuesday would put total county turnout above 1.4 million, or 73 percent of all registered voters.

Total turnout here was 59 percent in 2004, including about 405,000 early votes.
And, although Texas (like California) does not require party identification for voter registration, there may be a clue in the May primary:

More than 400,000 people voted in the presidential primary contest between Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, while fewer than 170,000 people voted in the relatively settled GOP primary.
Those, by the way, are the Harris County numbers. Overall, Democrats voted in the primary by a 2 to 1 margin over Republicans. If that trend continues, well....

The times, they are a-changin'....

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