Obama Benefits from Record Turnout of Early Voters
As CBS reports, early voting has been increasing nationwide for some time, from 7% of all votes cast in 1992 to 20% in 2004. But this year, excitement over the "change" election has broken many state records for early voter turnout. In Colorado, for instance, early voters amount to more than 31% of registered voters. One woman in Georgia reported waiting more than eight hours to vote early.
And how are early voters voting? The AP reports that early voters are overwhelmingly breaking for Obama. Here's their breakdown by party in several key states:
Florida: About 2.6 million people have already voted in a state where absentee ballots overwhelmingly favored President Bush in the razor-thin 2000 election. Among those voting so far this year, 45% are registered Democrats and 39% Republicans.
North Carolina: About 1.6 million people have already voted — 54% are registered Democrats and 29% are Republicans. About 100,000 newly registered voters have signed up and voted at North Carolina's one-stop voting centers. Among them, Democrats outnumbered Republicans by about 2-1.
Iowa: About 340,000 people have already voted — 49% are registered Democrats and 29% are Republicans.
Colorado: About 815,000 people have voted — 39% are registered Democrats and 37% are Republicans.
Nevada: About 342,000 people have already voted in Clark and Washoe Counties, which contain nearly 90% of the state's population. Among those voters, 53% are registered Democrats and 30% are Republicans.
New Mexico: About 111,000 people have voted in Bernalillo County, the state's largest. Among them, 55% are registered Democrats and 33% are Republicans.
Georgia: Black voters make up about 35% of those who have already voted — a big increase from the 2004 election, when 25% of the state's electorate was black. Blacks voted for Obama by ratio of 9-1 in Georgia's Democratic primary this year.