Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Comparing Early Voters to the Overall Electorate in North Carolina

I blogged several times over the past week about the composition of early voters in North Carolina. I speculated that the demographics of early voters strong favored Obama and had likely put him firmly in the lead going into election day. The only question was whether the composition of the complete electorate would differ substantially from that of early voters. Well, the answer to that question appears to be no. Here is the comparison of early voters and the full electorate (including early voters) as provided by the exit polls. (The exit poll figures may be adjusted over the next few days).

% of Early Voters Exit Poll
Men 38.7% 43%
Women 60.8% 57%

White 56.5% 62%
Black 39.9% 34%

White Women 33.2% 34%
White Men 23.1% 27%

African Americans voted early in larger numbers than they did overall, suggesting an impressive organizational effort to bank their votes. White women, the core Clinton constituency in most states, made up one-third of early voters and not much more of the electorate that voted on the day of the contest. White men appeared to be the least likely to take advantage of early voting, as they made up only 23% of early voters but 27% of the electorate overall.

All told, 404,599 North Carolinians voted early in the Democratic primary compared to 1,188,370 who cast their ballots on the day of the election. Thus, early voters made up about one-fourth of the electorate in North Carolina.

On a related note, I have already said this several times, but kudos go out to the North Carolina Board of Elections for having one of the best websites out there. The early voting figures on the site were updated constantly and on election night the site reporting of the results was particularly well done with tons of great features. Whoever their web designer is deserves a big raise.

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