Friday, October 29, 2004

 

Holy smokes! 830,000 new voters and counting

The PD today has the scoop on new voters:
. . . half of new voters registered in Ohio at last count - about 475,000 of about 830,000 - hail from just eight urban counties: Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Montgomery, Summit, Lucas, Lorain and Stark. They make up nearly 6 percent of the entire 7.8 million-plus statewide electorate, at a time when the latest polls show President Bush and Democrat John Kerry running neck-and-neck.

New registrations are still being counted, and everyone cautions that votes - not registrations - will decide the election. But signs of a heavy surge of new urban voters could add up to immense pull for Democrat-leaning central cities on Election Day. . .

Franklin County, which went to Gore by a nose in 2000, is perhaps the most sought-after county. . . As of Thursday, new registrations were running 2.5 times higher in the six Franklin County precincts that most heavily favored Gore in 2000 than in the six that most heavily favored Bush. The Democrat precincts saw an average of 203 registrations each, to 85 registrations each in the Republican precincts.

Don't celebrate yet. The GOTV battle will still be the determining factor:
John Green, director of the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron, agreed the Election Day wild card will be who actually votes. He said if just 13 percent of the 2.3 million registered voters who didn't vote in 2000 came out for Bush, it could offset gains in new voters that Democrats believe they've achieved.

"The state has always been fairly well balanced in terms of partisanship, and swing voters are a small percentage," he said. "The true test will be to what extent can they get them to the polls."

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