Wednesday, February 20, 2008

So I Early Voted Today

On Day 2 of early voting here in Texas, the next battleground for Obama/Clinton convention delegates, I showed up at my usual early voting location, conveniently located between my place of work and my place of residence.

The line was long by standards that I am used to at this polling place.

Two individuals were in front of me in the Democratic Party line. Looking over, I noticed that no one, not a single solitary Red State voter, was in line, checking in, OR voting. Not a single Dark Side voter was on the scene.

I had to laugh at the one voter casting his ballot in the voting booth on the Democratic side. He came back to the front and asked about the ballot, saying that he votes for both Democrats and Republicans, and where was that ballot? So they explained to him that he had to choose one or the other.

On further reflection I had to ask myself if this gentleman was just faking them out. Democrats here in Fort Bend County quite often feel the need to disguise themselves so their neighbors won’t think ill of them (or leave them off their daughter’s wedding invitation list). I know this must sound strange to those of you tuning in from saner parts of the world, but that’s how it really is here.

Nevertheless, it looks like Fort Bend County voters are on trend with the rest of the country. Take a look at the daily early vote numbers. It is posted here at the Fort Bend County elections site. Numbers aren’t up yet for today (it is, at this writing a scant 21 minutes since early vote polling sites closed), but on the first day of early voting, a total of 2564 voters showed up county-wide, and of them, 1710 of them were Democrats (or voters who voted the Democratic ballot).

Is that good? Well let’s compare the primary voting trends in 2004 compared to the present. In 2004, a total of 2106 Democratic voters turned out in the early voting – ALL of the early voting. Holy H-E Double Hockey Sticks! In the 2008 primary, Democrats have posted a turnout total for the FIRST DAY of early voting in 2008 that is just shy of 400 voters for the ENTIRE early voting period in 2004.

That’s what I call some fed up voters.

How does that compare to our Dark Side neighbors? I knew you’d ask. In 2004, a total of 4575 Republican voters turned out for early voting in that year’s primary, compared to 944 for the first day of early voting in 2008. So their numbers are slightly higher also if the trend continues on pace.

But if these numbers are a reflection of how much county voters want change in this Reddest of Red counties, we are going to see something magical this time around.

Finally, finally, Democrats are stirred up and out voting in force.

UPDATE as of 2/29:
Democrats on Tuesday 2/19: 1710
Democrats on Wednesday 2/20: 1515
Democrats on Thursday 2/21: 1827
Democrats on Friday 2/22: 2511
Democrats on Saturday 2/23: 4139
Democrats on Sunday 2/24: 1644
Democrats on Monday 2/25: 2786
Democrats on Tuesday 2/26: 3067
Democrats on Wednesday 2/27: 3319
Democrats on Thursday 2/28: 4421
Democrats on Friday 2/29: 7448
Total Democrats voting in 2008 primary t0-date: 34,387
% total Democratic turnout increase over 2004 presidential primary (to-date): 1634%
Democrat to Republican ratio to-date: 2.40: 1


Perry Dorrell, aka PDiddie said...

My brother the former GOP precinct chair reports that people would come in to vote and routinely ask how to cast a straight ticket.

In the primary.

When told that they were all Republicans and that they had to pick their favorite, the response was generally a scowl. That, or more confusion.

Victor Manuel said...

I just hope that many of these voters know about the other races in the ticket and elect Progressive Democrats (like Rick Noriega!). For a fact, I have a friend in Ft. Bend County who will vote in his first primary and told me that he doesn't vote straight ticket Democrat when I told him about Rick. I then had to explain to him that in a primary he can only vote for Democrats!

So, I do think there will be a lot of cases like the person you encountered and my friend.

I just hope these new voters are educated voters and do their research on the other races.....

Mark Bankston said...

Reddest of red counties?

Hal, seriously, who slipped you the Rick Miller Kool-Aid?

Veronica Torres came within a 3,500 vote flip from winning the county in 2006...

I used to peg 2010 as the year we would we flip a county-wide race. But now I think there is an extremely good chance Albert Hollan will defeat Judge Shoemake and become our the first new Democratic county-wide elected official.

And it is also very likely we will pick up another seat on commissioner's court, which will make 2 for each party.

Welcome, my friend, to the land of deep purple...

jolie said...

good trend-spotting, H-E. for more of what you're seeing, check out the totals of dems v. repubs in other state primaries. the dems' turnout is way larger than the pubs'.

an example is wisconsin -
total dem vote exceeded 1,111,000
total repub vote just shy of 410,000.

except for a couple states (e.g., utah, nevada) dem voters exceed the GOP by a significant percentage, frequently 2-1.

Hal said...

Yeah Mark, I know. What there isn't in our language is a symbol for he's-making-a-wry-comment-because-he's-holding-his-mouth-funny. Believe me, my tongue was firmly placed in cheek when I typed "Reddest of Red". What matters is not who lives where, but who comes out to vote. The reddest red state, or county, is only as red as how many Democrats stay home. Democrats are finally roused, now all we have to do is stay awake until November.

Anonymous said...

You're forgetting that there's a Republican on the Democratic Primary ballot for House District 27, so theoretically you can vote a "split ticket"--not that you would want to.

I got a good laugh when the Republicans were insisting that Party Elites should be able to thumb their noses at their own Primary voters by simply replacing Tom DeLay on the ballot--when state law is written that way to preserve the Party nominees as the choice of the People, not a cabal of politicos.

Anonymous said...

It's good to see this site has stopped censuring.

Hal said...

Actually, Anon, I haven't stopped moderating the comments section of this blog. I will always retain that right.

And when I let some less than desirable comments through, there's always a reason.

Now Anon, about that difficulty you have with the English language:

To censure is to criticize or reproach in a harsh or vehement manner. Typically censuring involves some form of official reprimand.

To censor, which is the word I think you were searching for, means to forbid the publication of books, plays, films and other such things, or to selectively edit out key passages thereof. Comments to blogs fit neatly in this definition as well.

I hate it when you guys get it wrong.