Showing posts with label turnout. Show all posts
Showing posts with label turnout. Show all posts

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Confusion reigns over Texas' 2012 election calendar

Aman Batheja of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has the story.

This situation was a mess for Texas from the time the MOVE act passed Congress in 2009. The thing that came out in the committee hearings for the relevant bills that made their way through the Texas state legislature was that there were so many competing interests that someone was going to get hurt in the process. Local elections officials and voters may be those people. The presidential primary and relevance in that process seem to have been on the other side of the spectrum. So far as FHQ can tell -- and we followed the process closely -- eliminating the runoff system was never a serious option, though it would have cut in half the problems for the state legislature, elections officials and voters.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Turnout always matters unless it doesn't.

Daniel Hopkins over at The Monkey Cage has this to say on the subject of turnout in November:
Last year, political scientists Stephen Ansolabehere and Charles Stewart pointed out that most of Barack Obama’s increased vote total over John Kerry came from black and Hispanic voters. Those two ethnic/racial groups together accounted for an increase of 7 million votes for Obama, as compared to 3 million added votes from non-Hispanic white citizens. So in thinking about the upcoming elections for the House of Representatives, it makes sense to ask about how blacks and Latinos are represented in the most competitive districts. Consider the 42 seats currently held by Democrats that analyst Charlie Cook considers to be “toss ups.” As these races go, so goes the House in all likelihood. According to the Census Bureau, the median toss-up district’sresidents in 2006-8 were 3.6% Latino and 4.8% black—as compared to shares of 15.1% and 12.3% nationally. Simply put, irrespective of turnout, the electorate that will prove decisive in which party controls the House has fewer voters of color than the electorate that proved decisive in electing Obama.
Food for thought with just one more round of primaries between us and a full scale general election campaign.

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Some Numbers from South Carolina and Florida

And no, they aren't poll numbers or results.

There are some really interesting turnout
figures that are coming out of South Carolina and Florida. In South Carolina turnout for the Democratic primary today should set records as its three predecessors in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada did. FHQ doesn't have a much in the way of resources, but we do have a cadre of contacts scattered across the Palmetto state (in the Charleston and Greenville areas) who witnessed long lines at polling places today. The New York Times, citing South Carolina "officials," has reported that turnout will be around 350,000; up from 290,000 in 2004 (CORRECTION: It looks like the Times transposed the turnout figures in their original report. Later they estimated turnout for the SC Democratic primary at 530,000. That's a substantial increase over 2004 and more than the GOP drew in the state just a week ago.). We've played the turnout guessing game in a couple of contests thus far and we're batting .500 as far as who high turnout affects the most. In South Carolina, with nearly half of the Democratic electorate being comprised of African Americans, it is hard to say who will gain the most from high turnout. It depends on how each segment turns out.

We'll have another post up for the South Carolina results shortly.

But let's look at what's happening in Florida as well. Even before the contest is officially conducted on Tuesday, early voting numbers point to a high level of interest in a race that only officially involves the GOP (DNC rules have kept the major Democratic candidates out of the state.). Around 350,000 voters (the same as the number of Democrats in South Carolina today) have placed early votes either by mail or in person on the Democratic side while around 400,000 have done similarly in the Republican primary. Meaningless or not, that's a lot of votes before a contest that doesn't even count. Clinton's lead in the Florida polls has been large, but efforts are being made by Clinton and Obama supporters in the Sunshine state and that shows to some extent in the early voting numbers we see. Does that pull Obama close to even with Clinton there? And how does this affect the Republicans? Mike Huchabee has to be hoping that a lot of people cast early votes just after Iowa when he surged in Florida polls. And that is the real issue here. When were these votes cast and what political shocks were those decisions deprived of factoring in?

And adding a little more to the Florida frenzy, Republican governor, Charlie Crist is backing McCain. If only the early GOP voters had known.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

New Hampshire Turnout. Who has the Advantage?

Much like I did last Thursday for the Iowa caucuses, I would like to think out loud about the effect turnout might play in today's New Hampshire primaries. There aren't any specific numbers being floated around today by either the candidates or the pundits like there were in the lead up to the caucuses in Iowa last week. However, on a general level, higher turnout is going to help the candidate with the most momentum, more often than not. This is clearer on the Democratic side than it is on the Republican side. There Huckabee is the momentum candidate, but the polls have shown what many thought coming out of Iowa: that Huckabee wouldn't necessarily play well in New Hampshire. It is less clear how this affects the race between McCain and Romney.

For Democrats, Obama qualifies as the candidate with momentum. This has been reflected in his rising poll numbers both in New Hampshire and nationally since Iowa. But today there have been reports already about long lines waiting to vote and requests to the Secretary of State for more Democratic ballots. This is a pretty clear indication that Obama could be in for a big night tonight when the results begin coming in.

Polls close at 7 pm.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Iowa Turnout. Who has the advantage?

There are a couple of numbers floating around today concerning turnout in tonight's Iowa caucuses and the expectations for who will come out victorious there. The thinking from within the campaigns and among outside observers is that high turnout is good for Obama and Huckabee. The Fix over at The Washington Post has cited the 200,000 caucus-goers as the line of demarcation for Obama. If the number tops that figure the advantage goes to the senator from Illinois according to his campaign (see here and here for more). As The Fix points out though, that is based on the idea that the growth in caucus participation is weighted toward Obama when in fact the distribution between the top three Democrats could be more even. The second choice voters are still important in Iowa as well. If their candidates don't reach fifteen percent, who do they back? Some polls seem to indicate Edwards and others Obama (The Edwards link is a little dated, but NBC reported as recently as Sunday night (Dec. 30) that Edwards led for the second choice folks.). Now, if the new caucus participants go for Obama and the supporters of the "non-viable" candidates align behind Edwards, will Hillary sink to third?

On the Republican side, 80,000 is the mark for Romney and Huckabee. The Romney camp has stated that anything over that number of caucus-goers could spell trouble for the former Massachusetts governor. Under that scenario, Huckabee's grassroots rise would likely bring enough new voters to the caucus to provide him with a victory.