Who's ahead in the early vote tallies? Depends who you ask.
In the race to replace U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay in the 22nd Congressional District, for example, Democrat Nick Lampson's campaign manager says the early voting trend shows his get-out-the-vote efforts are beating those of write-in Republican candidate Shelley Sekula-Gibbs.
Sekula-Gibbs' campaign manager, Lisa Dimond, reads the leaves differently.
"We believe we have more than enough support," she said. "All we have to do is get the voters out and have them know how to write Shelley in."
To Gerald Birnberg, chairman of the Harris County Democratic Party, an analysis of early voting in Texas House District 134 shows that Democratic challenger Ellen Cohen is in command.
"He's dead wrong," said Birnberg's GOP counterpart, Harris County Republican Chairman Jared Woodfill: Early voting clearly shows that incumbent Republican Martha Wong is beating Cohen.
Birnberg and Woodfill use similar processes to reach their differing interpretations.
Each day they get a list of those who signed in at early voting locations and check each record to see if the voter has a history of voting in Democratic or Republican primaries - the only way to document party affiliation in a state without registration by party.
Voters identified that way as Democrats are put in Cohen's column, Republicans in Wong's.
The art is in determining how strongly partisan a voter's history is. That, combined with each party's tendency to accentuate the positive, may explain the differing conclusions.
Today of course is the last day of early voting, so unless you want to visit your precinct polling place, get out and do your duty today. And click here if you want to help with a GOTV effort at UT.Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 03, 2006 to Election 2006 | TrackBack