Oct 15 2010

The November Tsunami Is Arising From The Political Center!

Published by at 4:06 pm under 2010 Elections,All General Discussions

There is a lot of speculation on what the turnout model is going to be this election cycle. Will it be like 2008 with high Democrat turnout? Will it be like 1994 with high GOP turnout? Or will it be something brand new – a wave of voter anger fueled by the centrists and Tea Party grass roots? Some new data on early voting tells a surprising story.

We have our first hard data voter interest data from a place called Elko County, NV and in the form of absentee ballot tallies by political affiliation. Elko County is clearly a highly Republican region where 56% of the early voters are registered with the GOP, 24% are registered Democrat, 15% are “non-partisan” and the rest come from a smattering of small parties ranging from the left and right. The following graph (click to enlarge) lays out the 2010 mix of absentee ballots as counted in Elko County by the top three political affiliations – which is also 95% of all the affiliations tracked.

Now what is interesting about the absentee ballots in Elko County is that there has been an overall 13% increase in absentee voting since 2008! That is pretty impressive for an off year election (compared to a presidential election cycle – not to mention one of the most intense presidential cycles of recent times). That tells us something right there – this looks to be a high turn out election. Even more interesting is the fact every affiliation, even the marginal ones, are seeing an increase in interest from 2008 to 2010. But some are more motivated than others – as would be expected.

The following chart, being a percent increase from 2008 to 2010 (and not an absolute number) is a clear indication of which of these three political affiliations is jazzed to vote. And the shocker result is that the group with the highest enthusiasm by far is neither the GOP nor the Democrats:

This is just amazing. While there is a huge gap between the Dems and GOP in absentee voting enthusiasm (+7%-D compared to +11%-R), the independent enthusiasm dwarfs both of them at +24%! If this sample is even close to representing the real force behind this year’s elections, it means you can toss out all those polls that show little to no increase in the Independent component of the turnout models.

In this one county in rural NV, the Dems went from 25.5% in 2008 to 24.1% in 2010 in the absentee ballot count. They had a respectable increase of 6.9% in total numbers while still losing ground in the over all share of votes.

The GOP went from 56.6% of the absentee ballot total to 55.7%. They had an even better increase in total numbers, growing 11.2%, but they too lost ground in the overall count.

It was Non-Partisans (Independents) who are showing the massive wave here in Elko County. They not only increased their total number of absentee ballots by 24.4%, they increased their share of the overall absentee ballot total from 13.9% in 2008 to 15.3% in 2010.

The numbers don’t lie here. The wave is not coming from the party faithful, but is driven straight out of the center of the political spectrum. Yes, they are tilted heavily towards to the GOP (or more accurately repulsed by the Democrats), but now we know why the GOP is winning polls while not gaining an inch in support.

Full disclosure: I had to compute the total ‘non partisan’ absentee ballots for 2008 because someone forgot to put it into the story I linked to. But all other categories were listed, along with total for each year so this was a trivial exercise. I only note this because someone with liberal math skills is going to moan in the comments.

14 responses so far

14 Responses to “The November Tsunami Is Arising From The Political Center!”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Free To Prosper, AJ Strata. AJ Strata said: The November Tsunami Is Arising From The Political Center: http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/14827 [...]

  2. tarpon says:

    The Reagan Democrats are returning home. They weren’t really socialists afterall.

  3. lurker9876 says:

    This doesn’t jive with the polling numbers between Reid and Angle.

  4. MarkN says:

    No, it doesn’t jive with any pollster. Angle will benefit from the surge in non-partisan participation. I do think it will be a 98% election and Angle wins 51-47-2.

  5. [...] Read more at The Strata-Sphere… Did you like this? Share it:Tweet [...]

  6. MarkN says:

    AJ: great research. For someone who has no political instincts you come up with some interesting nuggets. Although, I believe I mentioned this same phenomenon in MO. In the middle of a hot and humid summer the Obamacare vote gets a 5% overvote. An OVERVOTE, which meant that non-partisan’s came out to teach the POTUS a lesson and then did not bother to vote in the partisan primary.

    However, to say these new non-partisan’s are centrist is a stretch. They may be more libertarian but in many respects they are more conservative than even the “true” conservatives. I finally realized what 2010 reminds me of. It is not 1994 or 1946 or 1928 or even 1894. It is 1992 all over again except bigger and more powerful. Plus there is no Perot to split the vote. It is the people who just want to be left alone (and who rarely vote) who are scared that this government will not leave them alone. So they are out in large numbers to get DC off their backs.

    The election in WA will also be affected by the same phenomenon, which the pollsters have no excuse to not notice since WA has the free for all primary. There is no excuse not to have exit polls in WA. It is the best sample to measure the turnout in the general.

  7. kathie says:

    RPC poll has Obama at 44.1, and has had him in the 44′s all week.

  8. lurker9876 says:

    I am still surprised it is at 44 percent as I see far more people that are disgusted with Obama. A mention of his name is all that’s needed to convince people to vote.

    So…assuming that the Republicans gain back both houses, I see that Obama plans to use his executive orders to pass increased EPA regulations and illegal immigration amnesty, both that most Americans detest.

    I’d say let him use his EOs, which will be his death knell for his 2012 presidential nomination. And sooner he does that, the better because the Americans will see how their wallets are affected.

    John Mauldin’s letter that came out this week has become very negative for the economic future of this country, btw. In spite of Ben Bernanke’s comment about containing the subprime, John indicates that the general economic view is that the subprime cannot be contained due to several economic numbers, including the housing and foreclosure picture. Plus the Feds promising to print more money.

  9. lurker9876 says:

    In regards to the book, “The Jekyll Island and the Federal Reserve”, ya think that the Fed will finally catch up with its expected end of abolishment?


  10. WWS says:

    The saving grace of EO’s is that they are by far the easiest things to overturn. All you need is a new President. And as far as the EPA goes, Congress can yank their jurisdiction over anything in particular whenever they want. And if they don’t listen, Congress can cut all of their funding.

  11. lurker9876 says:

    Well, then! Considering Obama claiming that we Americans do not think clearly enough, if he attempts to sign these EOs, then he is not thinking clearly enough!

  12. [...] In my previous post on the ‘most likely of voters‘ (those who requested absentee ballots and only have to submit them to transition to a ‘true voter‘ status) should not be underestimated or dismissed out of hand. The data from Nevada indicates a high probability that most pollsters are way off in their predictions for this election cycle. This is due to the turnout models being stuck on past election patterns, as opposed to what may be actually happening this year. In that post we saw a great set of data from Elko County, NV where they compared 2008 absentee ballot data to the 2010 data. The key aspect of this early voter data is the party affiliation details provided. If Elko is a microcosm of national trends (and there is no reason to suspect it is not), then it indicates an election like nothing we have seen before. [...]

  13. kathie says:

    To add to your above statements AJ……I have heard that “tea party” pollsters are not talking about their results so as to not energize the other side or give the Unions an excuse to do unlawful things.

  14. [...] is exactly the phenomena I detected in Elk County, NV and their absentee ballot numbers. There the Dem absentee vote numbers grew 7% and the GOP 11% [...]