Kim Priestap reports on early voting in Florida. Democrats seem to have a big advantage in turnout.
Democrats are beaming that their party is outperforming the Republicans in early voting, releasing numbers Wednesday that show registrants of their party ahead 54 percent to 30 percent among the 1.4 million voters who have gone to the polls early.I wonder if the PUMA vote is having an effect? I looked into that at The PUMA Question. My conclusion? The PUMAs are being very underrated.
"We're thrilled at the record turnout so far," said Democratic Party of Florida spokesman Eric Jotkoff. "It's a clear indication that Democrats want to elect Barack Obama and Democrats up and down the ballot so that we can start creating good jobs, rebuilding our economy and getting our nation back on track."
But party breakdowns for turnout aren't the same as final tallies, and at least one poll offered a different view for the campaign of Republican John McCain.
A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll gave McCain a 49-45 lead over Democrat Barack Obama among Floridians who have already voted.
And Republicans continued to show a traditional strength, leading 50 percent to the Democrats' 30 percent in the 1.2 million absentee ballots already returned.
OK. That is Florida which is looking pretty good right now. What about Maine and New Hampshire?
Tonight’s been a busy night, in that we’ve talked to a half dozen people on three times as many subjects - including Team Hillary members in New Hampshire and Maine, who we know well from the primaries.Interesting. It seems that it is the Shrinking Media™ that is the most enthusiastic for Obama and the rest of America not so much.
Here’s the kicker: these people aren’t McCain supporters. Several are working for Obama now in both states, because they have political jobs and thus must tow the party line. Others are voting Green and no longer campaigning for anyone, but are tuned into things in their states.
We know nothing about New Hampshire or Maine and have never pretended to. We won’t start now. All we’ll tell you is what these people told us tonight, and it’s that they truly do expect John McCain to win both New Hampshire and Maine next week, for the reasons they gave below:
(1) In both states, they have never seen an enthusiasm deficit for Democrats like this. Hillary Democrats there say there are more “closet McCain supporters” than anyone can count. Despite what the media says, people are not enthused and fired up to go out and vote for Obama — quite the contrary: people are scare of Obama’s policies and will be voting McCain. The enthusiasm deficit in both New Hampshire and Maine is “as clear as day” according to those we spoke to tonight. They say they do not see anywhere near the level of Obama signs, stickers, buttons, etc. out this year, as they did Kerry, Gore, Clinton, and even Dukakis gear in years past.
It also looks like Joe The Plumber has had a big effect in Maine. And as Maine goes so goes the nation.
(2) We asked why people in these states are not voting for Obama and were told that in Maine, especially, a lot of it has to do with Joe the Plumber and redistributing the wealth. Much of Maine makes its living off the sea: fishermen pull in $200,000 or more a year in family businesses. Joe Biden’s slip that Obama really intends to define “wealthy” as $150,000 a year or above sent terror through Maine’s fishing community and other small business industries. We were told tonight that Maine and New Hampshire have more small family businesses that would be affected by Obama’s redistribution of wealth than we could imagine. Joe the Plumber resonated with these people — especially the fishermen.And guess what? The Republicans have the wife of a fisherman on the ticket. Word is that Todd Palin is going to Maine to gather some votes. I think he just might get some.
It also looks like caucus fraud is also playing a part.
The other interesting tidbit that came out of the conversation tonight was that of the Hillary Clinton convention delegates who are openly supporting John McCain, the largest number of these people come from states that held caucuses.It seems like Obama had a good strategy for winning the nomination (fraud and intimidation), but it is not playing well in the general election. So in terms of strategy Obama did well. In terms of grand strategy he is a failure. We have historical evidence of just such mistakes in warfare. The Austrian Corporal made the same mistake. Easy victories were not solidified by making friends with the populations of his new conquests. It turned out badly for him.
We were told tonight that no one is yet picking up on the fact that Democrats in states that held caucuses, and who saw firsthand the fraud, voter intimidation, and other vile tricks Obama pulled in caucus states have NOT forgotten about any of this. These people are still LIVID that a Democrat dared to use Chicago fraud and intimidation to game the caucus system. The Clinton delegates from caucus states have been coordinating efforts amongst themselves for payback against Obama on November 4th, since no state will vote in a caucus then.
We’re told this is the reason that Iowa is so much closer than we ever dreamed it would be. Remember, we have insisted McCain would lose Iowa because of his opposition to ethanol subsidies. So, we’ve been baffled by McCain and Palin’s appearances throughout Iowa, or the fact internals we see show the state incredibly close. We never could figure out why — and it was so obvious this whole time. THE CAUCUS FRAUD Obama committed back in January is coming back to bite him in a HUGE way. Because of the ethanol opposition, McCain should be losing Iowa by large numbers — but the people we spoke to this evening says he’ll end up winning the state, largely because of Democrats who are so disgusted by the behavior of Obama’s followers during the caucuses.
This isn’t just Hillary Democrats either. It’s a large swath of Democrats who feel violated by the tactics Obama employed in their state — bringing thugs from Chicago across the Illinois border to vote in Iowa’s caucuses. People there remember the truth, and will have that in mind on November 4th.
Obama did not cement his relationship with those he defeated by offering them a large consolation prize (Hillary as VP) to make up for all the rubbed raw emotions the caucuses created. When he picked Joe Biden he made the hill he had to climb much steeper. And then along comes Joe the Plumber in the last two weeks of the campaign to put a large hole in his campaign below the water line. And Obama keeps enlarging that hole by lowering the threshold for those who will see tax increases. First $250,000, then $200,000 and finally (so far) $150,000. Worrying people the most I believe is not the actual number, but the fact that it keeps going lower. Where will it stop? I think it will stop with a huge Obama loss on the night of 4 Nov.
Do we have any other anecdotes and fuzzy data points? Yes we do. The results so far in Nevada show that the Obama/pollsters turn out model is not near what has been hoped/projected (change we can believe in - heh).
Analysts have predicted that new voters, young voters and Hispanic voters will turn out in record numbers in this election. But as Nevadans continue to flock to the polls, turnout among those three groups is lagging, at least in the early going.Hope springs eternal in the Democrat camp. No surprise there. It is part of their theme song this year.
While turnout statewide was nearly 25 percent through Sunday, it was just 20 percent among Hispanic voters, 14 percent among voters under 30 and 15 percent among those who didn't vote in the last three elections, according to an analysis of state early voting records through Sunday prepared by America Votes, an organization that works to mobilize voters.
The data provide a glimpse into the composition of the more than 300,000 Nevadans who had taken advantage of early voting over the first nine days of the 14-day period. The information comes from proprietary databases that political action groups purchase from commercial vendors, cross-referenced with the public data the state releases showing who has voted.
Traditionally, older people, whites and people who vote consistently tend to turn out at the highest rates overall, said David Damore, a political scientist at UNLV. But this year, much has been made of the idea that the youth vote, the Hispanic vote and first-time voters would turn out at unprecedented rates, galvanized by a heightened political climate and the candidacy of Democratic nominee Barack Obama.
"I would have expected those numbers to be a little higher," Damore said. "At the same time, the people who come out for early voting may tend to be the tried and true."Expects and happens are two different things though. One point I have brought up before is that there is huge antipathy in the Hispanic community for the Black community. It boils down to this: Hispanics see Blacks living on the dole while they toil away at jobs like gardening and construction to improve themselves. No one likes free riders. People who are not pulling their weight. And for good or ill that is the Hispanic community's impression of the Black community they come in contact with.
The idea that the electorate will be radically reshaped this year remains an open question, he said, and it's possible the Obama campaign faces a challenge turning out the untested voters it's relying on to win.
Recent polling shows Obama leading in the Silver State by varying margins. Democrats' hopes have been boosted by a tectonic shift in voter registration that has left them with more than 110,000 more registered voters than Republicans, but the GOP insists there's hope because the election will be decided by who votes and how.
"What Republicans have been saying is that registration is only half the game, and they have the tried and true model to get people out," Damore said.
U.S. Rep. Hilda Solis, D-Calif., was in Las Vegas on Tuesday working to rally Hispanic voters for Obama. She said she expects high Hispanic turnout this year.
So let me do a short analysis of why I think Obama will lose.
1. Caucus fraud rubbed Democrat voters the wrong way.
2. Failure to select Hillary was a failure to mend fences
3. Sarah Palin gave the Republican base and disaffected Hillary voters something to cheer about.
4. Joe the Plumber (a gift from the Maker) sealed the deal
But it is not over until it is over. Don't let any analysis - positive or negative - keep you from doing what must be done. And what is that you ask? Well I'll tell you. Again.
Vote. Vote like your life and your country depended on it. It may. If we get a very strongly Democrat legislature it is critical that McCain/Palin have all the support we can show to keep the legislature in check. So even if you live in a state that is a foregone conclusion one way or another, your show of support will matter come 20 January 2009. Vote.
Cross Posted at Classical Values