Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Ocean’s 6 (Days of Early Voting)

It has been articulated recently that votes cast by Democrats via Early Voting are “cannibalizing” Democratic Election Day turnout.

Well, if there was 100% Democratic turnout, yes, that would be the case.  But that would be a Very Good Thing.

As it stands, that “cannibal concept” is more of a “perhaps” proposition.  Some of the Democratic Early Voters may not have been able to vote on Election Day for one reason or another, so they chose to vote early so they could participate in the process.  Others may not have been planning on voting this cycle, or were not eligible to vote in previous cycles, but they are so fired up, they went to the polls early.

I know folks are trying to determine the potential size/scope of a possible Blue Wave (or even a Red Wave) but I thought it important to state that, all things considered, I would rather have as many banked Democratic votes as possible going into Election Day.

Given the registration figures in Howard County, I still expect Democrats to outnumber Republicans (and quite possibly Republicans + Independents) among Election Day voters.  That said, Republicans tend to be a bit more “traditional” in terms of their voting behaviors – with a predisposition toward Election Day voting.

Journeying into the Land of the Obvious for a moment: the key challenge is to maximize Democratic turnout regardless of how the vote is cast.    

As it stands now, the Early Voting electorate through six days breaks out as follows:  60.7% Democratic, 22.4% Republican, 15.7% Unaffiliated, 1.2% Other.  This represents a slight tightening based on party registration. I expect another tightening to occur amongst the Election Day electorate. 

It is noteworthy that almost 19% of Democrats (18.94%) have exercised their franchise via Early Voting.  This compares to 13.72% of Republicans, 11.05% of Unaffiliateds, and 11.59% of the other party members.

In other news:  20.94% of 9B voters have cast their ballots via EV. This percentage ranks first among legislative districts in Maryland (where the average is 11.66%).  District 12 (15.23%), District 9A (14.19%), and District 13 (12.94%) are all above the state average.  Those figures are even higher in the Howard County portions of the multi-County districts:   9A (16.04%) and 12 (17.37%).

Turning to the Council Districts, Early Voting turnout remains highest, as a percentage of the potential electorate, in District 1 (18.14%) but District 4 (17.59%) is not too far behind.

In solidarity.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Through Day 5: The Reckoning

I don’t know if Scott is busy “12 Angry Men’ing” this morning – so there might be two blog posts tracking Howard County Early Voting patterns.

Through 5 days (through 10/29/18), 12.97% of HoCo voters have cast their ballots via Early Voting.  So the Over/Under of 20% through 8 days sounds about right.

The party composition numbers are largely holding from yesterday.  61% of those who early voted are registered Democrats.  The GOP % ticked up very slightly to 22.3%. The Unaffiliateds comprise 15.5% of the EV electorate while the Others account for the remaining 1.2%.

These numbers are still favorable for Democratic/progressive candidates.

At the Councilmanic district level, 15% of District One RV’s have early voted, followed by 14.69% in District Four.  At this rate, the EV tally for District One might end up close to 25%.

At the state legislative level, the EV percentage for 9B stands at 17.36%.  The next closest in the state is 37B, over on the Eastern Shore, at 14.43%.   

The Howard County portion of District 12 (14.41%) is also registering high turnout numbers.  Compare that to District 13 (10.61%) and the part of D9A that is in HoCo (13.22%).

In solidarity.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Topline Thoughts on Early Voting Trends

Based on the Unofficial Numbers released by the Maryland Board of Elections:

-       4 days of EV down and of the 21,809 early voters who cast their General Election ballots through 10/28/18, 61.0% are registered Democrats (22.1% Republican, 15.6% Unaffiliated, and 1.3% Other). 
-       Compare this to the actual eligible active voter registration breakouts, which are 50.4% Democratic, 25.7% Republican, 22.3% Unaffiliated, and 1.7% Other.
-       These turnout numbers signal a pronounced enthusiasm gap in Howard County – with a larger percentage of Democrats having already rushed to the polls.  12.3% of registered Democrats have already early voted, compared to 8.75% of Republicans, 7.1% of the Unaffiliated, and 7.7% of those registered with other parties.
-       I expect the Election Day turnout to be slightly more Republican than what we have seen thus far.  It is also important to note that we still have four more days of Early Voting and the absentee & provisional ballots to consider.
-       Assume for a moment that the composition of the 2018 General Election electorate in Howard County is 60% Democratic (or higher).  Given that set of conditions, it is challenging to see a scenario whereby Kittleman wins re-election unless he pulls 30% or more of the Democratic vote...that is unlikely.
-       Let’s look at another turnout model for a moment.  Even with Democrats comprising only 55% of the electorate, the race would still be extremely competitive, assuming Ball can garner 40% of the Unaffiliated/Other vote and at least 2% of the Republican vote – while keeping Kittleman below 25% among registered Democrats.
-       In short, thus far in Howard County, the hard GOTV work is working for the Democrats.
-       Turning to the Councilmanic districts for a moment…the EV turnout has been heaviest in District 1 with 11.87% of the voters in that district having cast their ballots through 10/28/18 (not a shock, as this is HoCo’s true swing district). I would not be surprised if a partisan breakout of District One Early Voters revealed a favorable trend for Walsh.  The second highest EV turnout has been recorded in District 4 (11.44%), which features the Jung vs. Kim race.  High turnout should bode well for Jung.    
-       Focusing on state legislative races, EV turnout is very high in 9B (13.7%, the highest in the state by a considerable margin).  Turnout is also solid in the Howard County portion of District 12 (11.2%).  Watson in 9B and Team 12 should find those numbers encouraging.

 In solidarity.