TN: Early Vote-Absentee Analysis

For Harold Ford to win, a couple things need to happen:

  1. Some people that voted for Bush in 2004 need to vote for Ford (Bush carried TN 57-43)
  2. Turnout needs to change from '04 so that either more Democratically-inclined voters go to the polls, or fewer Republican-inclined voters do, or both

Looking at the TN early vote/abs totals thus far (county-by-county data available thru 10/24, the first 6 days of early voting) will tell us nothing about #1. But hopefully it can give some limited insight into #2. Precinct-by-precinct data would tell much more, but that's not available. Ideally, looking at the county numbers will show that the vote in heavily red counties is indeed decreasing and the vote in blue counties is increasing from 2004.

The good and the bad news from the numbers on the flip.

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TN: Senate Perspective

Some recent news in the otherwise uninteresting TN Governor's race may actually have an effect on the TN Senator's race I fear. This is a race that Dems can win. But the question is, who will win the GOP nomination? If it's Chattanooga mayor Bob Corker, the "moderate" choice, he may have gotten a boost in yesterday's news that Jim Bryson (State Senator) will challenge Bredesen (D) for Governor. Bryson won't win. But he has cred with the religious right.

Bryson is best known as the sponsor of a 2003 measure to create "Choose Life" specialty license plates and as a leader in the effort to prevent homosexuals from adopting children.

This year he unveiled a plan to cap state spending, and he said he wants to stay in the Senate to shepherd the measure through.

Bryson's plan would change the constitution to make it harder to break what's known as the "Copeland Cap," which limits government spending to the rate of growth of personal income.

That's something Corker does not have. In fact the primary will pit Corker against 2 religious right darlings (Bryant and Van Hilleary). Bryson's entrance gives religious conservatives a reason  to show up in November, and while they're in the voting booth I don't expect them to vote for Ford. The GOP may not have fired up the religious base with Corker. Bryson does. So he may get the benefit of that crowd without the baggage/backlash. May be the worst news Representative Ford could have gotten.

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Harold Ford, Jr. Getting Out Front

Sorry for the single-link entry, but Harold Ford is up with his first campaign commercial today. A smart approach I think--GOP challengers will be bashing each other for the next 14 months. I don't see Van Hillary, Ed Bryant, Beth Harwell, or Bob Corker being fabulous candidates. One of them has already lost a state-wide race, another has already lost a statewide primary. There are no Lamar Alexander figures, or Bill Frist money, here.

A Politico-Strategic Question

I hope it's ok to use the diaries to ask questions, not just have an opinion.  All you political strategist philosophers out there tell me what you think.

I'm working closely with someone who is thinking about taking on a republican incumbent in a heavily republican district. I mean heavy (65-35 Bush over Kerry).

There will be a governor and a senate race in '06. One reason we'd like to make sure there is a candidate in the Dem column (it was unopposed in '04) is to help up ticket.

Questions below the fold:

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TN final early vote projection

Early voting has concluded in Tennessee, and the election commission has released the full early vote totals by county. Already more than half of the total vote in 2000 has been achieved statewide in early voting. 2.07 million voted in 2000, and 2004 early voting totals 1.13 million.

If each county split as it did in 2000, the 2004 early vote turnout indicates a 51.3-46.9 lead for Bush. This would be slightly closer than the early vote lead Bush held in 2000, but not the advantage in turnout I had hoped for by county (by precinct would provide a more accurate look, but I don't have that info).  Republican counties have turned out very large as well. No reason not to hope that the increase is the anti-Bush vote getting out in those counties, but it's not just the Dem counties that have registered voters and gotten out the early vote.

TN Early Vote + Registration Analysis

Tennessee early voting turnout totals by county have been released through the first 7 days. Taking each county's present totals and multiplying by its Bush-Gore percentages from 2000, I can project an estimate about the state of the vote thus far, based solely on turnout by county (of course by precinct would be far more accurate, but I don't have that info). Results of that plus an analysis of the new voter registrations in TN below.

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TN Early Vote Analysis/ Projections

Early voting turnout totals by county in Tennessee are available on the state election commission website for the first 4 days (through Saturday). I took the turnout for each county and multiplied it by 2000 county results, hoping to see that in this heavy state-wide early voting turnout, that strong Gore counties were leading the way and tipping the early balance for Kerry.

In 2000, Bush defeated Gore 51.1% to 47.3% in TN, and won the early vote 53.8% to 46.2%. 2004 early vote projections below the fold.

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Electoral Math: Too much time on my hands edition

A cold kept me from going door-to-door today for Kerry, so I did a little calculating. Find out how many ways Kerry has to win the Presidency while losing FL and OH below.

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