Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Absentees show the enthusiasm gap is for real in Ohio

In 2008, President Obama won Ohio 51%-47%. A key ingredient of the win was early and absentee voting. With that in mind, there has been a lot of chest thumping from Ted Strickland recently about absentee voting showing no enthusiasm gap in the Governor's race.

If only that were true.

A look at the three big counties should have Strickland worried.

Using numbers from Cuyahoga, Franklin, and Hamilton counties from Monday, it's clear that things aren't shaping up the way Strickland would like them to.

First, let's start with Cuyahoga.

In 2010, there have been 85,492 absentee ballots returned to be counted so far. At this same point in 2008, the year of Obama, 266,053 had already been returned. Even absentee requests are way down in Cuyahoga with their BOE receiving just 72% of the number of requests they had in 2008. Their partisan numbers aren't looking good either. In 2008, the number of registered Democrats in Cuyahoga stood at 395,712 and 38.62% of them requested absentee ballots. In the same election there were 91,500 registered Republicans and 39.78% of them requested ballots. Those numbers have seen a sharp change this year with over 24,000 fewer registered Democrats in Cuyahoga and just 31.95% of them requesting ballots. Meanwhile, registered Republicans have increased by over 16,000 and 45.31% of them have requested ballots. But the stat most amazing to me is that Republicans requesting absentees jumped from 36k to nearly 49k compared to the same time in 2008. What have Democrats done in the same time? They've gone from 152k requests at this time in 2008 down to 118k this year. Republicans have spiked. Democrats have plummeted.

Yes, Cuyahoga will still most definitely go to Ted Strickland, but the absentee numbers clearly indicate enthusiasm levels are nowhere near the levels seen in 2008, and that's bad news for the crown jewel of the liberal base in Ohio.

Onto Franklin County...

Franklin has seen 155,651 absentee requests for this general election. Despite a 65/35 partisan advantage for Democrats, absentee requests are statistically tied. Of all absentee requests, 38,561 are Democrats and 37,690 are Republicans. While I don't have numbers for 2008, you can look at how badly Obama won Franklin County for why a statistical tie in absentees is significant. Why? Obama won Franklin County in 2008 305,144 to 205,338 for McCain, or 59% to 40%. If Franklin ends up going 50/50 in 2010, just how absentees currently are looking, this could be devastating for Ted Strickland.

Finally, Hamilton County...

The Democratic registration advantage in Hamilton sits at 62/38 in favor of Democrats and Obama won Hamilton by nearly 21,000 votes. Despite that, GOPers have requested 11% more ballots than Democrats. Republican voters have requested 23,263 absentee ballots. Democrats have requested just 20,839.

In summary, all three of these counties should be flocking to Ted Strickland at partisan ratios similar to Obama's win in 2008 if Strickland wants to win. Very clearly, they are not. If Strickland can't overwhelmingly win these supposed bread and butter larger counties, he's in for a world of hurt on the evening of November 2nd.

The enthusiasm gap is real. And it spells bad news for Team Strickland.


  1. Keeling, you are pathetic.

    You need to compare it to 2006, not 2008, genius.

    Nobody expects the same kind of turnout in a midterm year as a Presidential election year. That's an apples to oranges comparison.

    The fact is that Strickland is poised to get his 100,000 vote lead in Cuyahoga County on early votes alone... which is voting as much early as it did in 2006. Same thing with Franklin County.

    You've, of course, neglected to mention Mary Taylor's SUMMIT County where Democrats are outpacing the GOP 2:1 in early voting.

    And left out of all this is how the early voting patterns completely refute the projected turnout patterns in the likely voter models in those polls you like to boast about.

    Whomever is paying you to write this tripe needs a refund.

  2. For the record, Jon Keeling apparently didn't know that turnout in Presidential elections is different from midterms.

    And, he also thinks that Kasich and Taylor could both lose their own home counties and still win.

    Crazy analysis there, Carpetblogger.

  3. First off, I'm using 2008 because 2006 is off the table. Why? It was the first year of the new absentee system and no one had any idea how it worked. 2008 was the first year both sides were utilizing the system correctly.

    As for using 2008, it's totally fair because I primarily focus on rates of participation, not vote totals. For example, the fact that more GOPers are requesting absentees now compared to 2008 is significant. Just as significant as a lesser proportion of Dems are requesting ballots.

    As for completely refuting likely voter models, that's just silly. You are using four counties, all where Dems enjoy a significant registration advantage, to say the same thing is happening statewide. Statistics doesn't work that way.

    It's very simple.

    In the largest Dem counties, Democrats are requesting absentee ballots at a rate far smaller and GOPers are requesting at a higher rate than we saw in 2008 when Obama won by just 51-47.

    That spells very bad news for Ted Strickland.

  4. No modern, you are pathetic. Everyone knows total turnout will be lower. But comparing partisan turnout percentages is still valid, and you know it. DJT's analysis and response to you makes perfect mathematical sense.

    You'll ignore any facts in order to post a nasty reply and call people names, wont you?

  5. Modern Esquire's Nov 3rd Comment:
    Sure the Secretary of State's "poll" shows Kasich beating Strickland 54-46 but I have seen a fresh new super-secret internal poll showing Strickland ahead by 14!!! Take that Keeling.

  6. Modern Esquire's comments reveal that, sadly, the Aspergers Set's dream that public policy data will be analyzed using standard deviations over percentages is a pipe dream.
    Forget stdv's, too many can't even grasp percentages!!

    Another revealing anecdote this is.

    Remember how Bloomberg was able to fool the vast majority of the public, including the press, that he had closed the racial gap in NY city education? They were not mathematically literate enough to understand percentages and their limitations. Modern Esquire seems a little smarter than average and thus illustrative of how Bloomberg was able to pull of this feat.

  7. Again, Keeling using a Presidential turnout is a fallacy because Democratic participation has ALWAYS historically dropped off more than Republican participation. That's not unique to this cycle. That's practically a political law about turnout. What you're pointing to as evidence of an "enthusasm gap" is something that occurs in just about every midterm election. The rates of participation are never the same in a Presidential election and a midterm. So that's NOT really an illustrative point of comparison.

    Second, the polls which you are so fond of are based on a turnout in which the general election population consists of Republicans making nearly HALF of the general election vote. The early vote demonstrates this is fallacy as more Democrats are voting than Republicans. That's not just in these counties, that's STATEWIDE.

    Third, again, simply because Strickland isn't repeating the same early vote patterns in 2008 or even in 2006 doesn't mean he can't or isn't winning. We won both of those elections handily. All your "analysis" shows is that Republican turnout is better this election than those. That doesn't necessarily mean that the Democrat can't win since the total number of Democratic votes is still outpacing Republicans STATEWIDE.

    As for the notion that the campaigns didn't look to early voting in 2006, that's just absurd. Maybe the hapless Blackwell campaign didn't, but that's not true of Strickand's. You're just trying to make up an excuse to pass off your ridiculous and misleading analogy.

    The takeaway is that Democrats are banking more votes in early voting than the Repubicans. This proves that the primary assumptions of the likely voter models are invalid as they have grossly overstated Republican turnout while grossly understating Democratic turnout.

    That means the polls cannot be believed and Strickland very well might be ahead.

  8. Comedy relief, with typical Lefty personal attacks.

    Thanks ME.



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