Early Voting Trends Suggest Democrats Are Resisting GOP Voter Suppression Tactics in North Carolina and Florida

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Early voting is underway in North Carolina, ground zero for the worst of the tea-party GOP’s voter suppression tactics, and early reports suggest that Democratic voters are coming out in force:

Early voting started at a fast clip, with nearly 300,000 votes cast at one-stop sites in the first four days, according to the State Board of Elections.

… A new controversial law chopped seven days off the early voting period, shortening it to 10 days.

More than twice as many voters cast ballots in the first four days of early voting compared to the first four days of the last midterm election in 2010. The total through Sunday was about 20,000 short of the 2010 early voting total after eight days, according to state Elections Board data…

Through the first four days this year, ballots cast by registered Democrats are at 93 percent of where they were at this time in 2010, Bitzer said. Unaffiliated voters are nearly at the same level as they were four years ago, and Republicans are at 68 percent of their 2010 one-stop total.

“This may show that an energy and enthusiasm ‘gap’ that is at the national level for Republicans over Democrats may be reversed in North Carolina,” [Michael Bitzer, political science professor at Catawba College] said in an email.

Voting analysis in Florida, where GOP voter suppression efforts backfired in 2008, shows that more Republicans have voted than Democrats so far, but that the GOP lead may be shrinking:

The race for Florida governor is tied in the polls, but the past week has brought more good numbers for Democrat Charlie Crist than Gov. Rick Scott.

After the first full week of in-person early voting, Democrats have started to eat into Republicans’ lead in casting pre-Election Day ballots — a margin in the GOP’s favor of 138,000 of more than 1.8 million cast statewide.

In 2010, Republicans led Democrats by 12 percentage points in ballots cast before Election Day, when Scott went on to beat Democrat Alex Sink by just over 1 percent of the vote. As of Monday, the Republican lead for this election was about 7.6 percentage points.

In a sign of how tenuous Scott’s lead appears, the governor reversed course and broke his word not to spend his personal millions on the race. An estimated 10,000 ads attacking Crist and promoting Scott are expected in the final week.

2 Comments

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  • Joan
    October 29, 2014 - 7:08 am | Permalink

    I live in NC and voted on the first day, I hope and pray that we can stop the Koch’s hold on NC, it has been a disaster for
    schools, for health care etc.
    It was ironic that McCrory and his lackeys gave tax cuts to the wealthy and took money from schools, when I voted there was a referendum on the ballot for an increase in sales tax – for the schools!!!

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