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Early voters breaking for Kerry?

I really had to scour the media to find some good polling news for Kerry, but I finally found some here, although it was pretty far down in the story:

Bush garnered 49 percent against Kerry's 46 percent, according to the Quinnipiac University poll of 1,268 registered Florida voters conducted October 22-26.
Of the 16 percent of Florida voters who cast their ballots early, Kerry led Bush 56-39 percent, according to Quinnipiac.

We all knew that turnout would determine this election, but that's a variable that's notoriously difficult to measure in polls. These early voting surveys, crude though they may be, represent our first, imperfect measure of voter turnout. If this is accurate, it could spell trouble for Bush, but who knows?

I'm not really sure I know how to interpret it. Does this mean that 16% of the 1,268 people they sampled had already voted? If so, that means they only have data for about 200 people. This looks great for Kerry, but I've seen other early voting data elsewhere that shows Bush with a 15% lead. Who knows? I think this "early voting" data must be as unreliable as hell.


Potential blowback for the Kerry campaign: General polling of registered and likely voters suggests that Florida is pretty evenly divided. If Kerry's supporters are disproportionaly voting early, that means that Bush supporters are likely to be over-represented in election day exit polling.

How will later (i.e. western) voting be affected if Bush appears to have a strong lead in Florida?

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