Obama Benefits from Record Turnout of Early Voters

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

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

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.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend