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Early voting: The Democratic voters start to show up

After one full week of early voting, the proportion of votes coming from Republican State Rep districts was tilted about two percentage points more towards the GOP than it was in 2006. I’ve argued that this is nothing to be particularly excited about one way or another, as I believe it represents a shift in behavior (more people voting early) than a change in the electorate. That’s largely predicated on Democratic voters coming out in equivalent numbers, of course. How do things look now, after three more days of Early Voting?

2010 Week One Strong R = 47.7% Medium R = 9.4% Medium D = 17.9% Strong D = 22.9% Total R = 57.1% Total D = 40.8% 2010 Week Two Strong R = 46.3% Medium R = 9.3% Medium D = 17.0% Strong D = 25.3% Total R = 55.6% Total D = 42.3% 2010 Overall Strong R = 47.2% Medium R = 9.4% Medium D = 17.6% Strong D = 23.8% Total R = 56.6% Total D = 41.4% 2006 Overall Strong R = 43.7% Medium R = 11.2% Medium D = 19.2% Strong D = 23.2% Total R = 54.9% Total D = 42.4%

So far, Week Two is about three points more Democratic than Week One. I should note that in terms of Strong D percentage, Tuesday was more Democratic than Monday, and Wednesday was more Democratic than Tuesday. There’s still a ways to go to get the overall mix closer to 2006 – and note that Week Two is still slightly redder than 2006 was – but if this continues, that will happen. Better news for Democrats, but still not where they want to be.

And then there’s still the matter of guessing how many people will be left to come out on Election Day itself. As of yesterday, 288,568 in person votes had been cast, with 48,498 mail ballots having been returned. That’s 337,066 total votes. To put this in some perspective, total Harris County turnout in 2006 was a smidge over 601,000, and in 2002 it was a bit over 652,000. The early vote total so far is almost 57% of the total vote from 2006, and nearly 52% of the total vote from 2002. I think final turnout this year will easily exceed 2006 levels, and may be higher than 2002, though probably not by much. Election Day itself may be a fairly quiet affair. Let’s see where we stand after Friday, and we can place our guesses for the final number then.

UPDATE: Another 44,324 votes were cast Thursday, bringing the total early in person vote count to 332,892. Of this, 180,984 were cast in the first seven days, and 151,908 have been cast since Monday. Thursday was the most Democratic day yet:

Strong R = 43.8%
Medium R = 9.1%

Medium D = 17.0%
Strong D = 27.5%

That’s 52.9% R, 44.5% D for the day, which is two points more Democratic than 2006. We’ll see what today holds, and I’ll run the final numbers tomorrow or Sunday.

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  1. John says:

    What are the total number of voters for each week? Because if the number of voters is far greater for week 1 (my guess that it is, but that is just a guess) then then 2% increase for D’s is not really too significant. Even in your overall 2010 a 2% D increase for week 2 only added 0.6% to overall D. I don’t think any of this bodes well if White does not put up big numbers in Houston he is toast. Unfortunately it is since people are already talking about his 2012 Senate run

  2. John,

    First seven days of early voting = 180,984 votes

    Three days of early voting this week = 107,584 votes

    Wednesday’s total was over 38,000. Two more days like that and the M-F period this week will meet or exceed the first week. Note that the last day of early voting is traditionally the heaviest. I’ll add in today’s number when I get it, but I fully expect this week to be greater than the first week.

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