The general election is now six days away. In person early voting has concluded (although mail in ballots can still be accepted until Monday). We have kept track of the early voting numbers, and what we’ve noticed so far is as follows:
(1) The volume of early voting so far is comprable to the 2007 statewide elections, when “Bobby” Jindal was elected without the need for a runoff. Given this volume, we believe at the present time that statewide voter turnout will be about 40%;
(2) There was overall a good Republican early vote (the party breakdown was 47-42-11% Democrat/Republican/Independent) considering the population of registered voters, and there similarly was a respectable black percentage of early voters as well (21% of the early voters were black, which is higher than the 16-18% black percentage we typically see in recent early voting).
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that we are making somewhat of a big deal about the early vote volume, because when the Legislature essentially established “no fault” early voting several years ago, more and more people have chosen to early vote, so a constituency of 5-15% of the total vote is something a politician would be foolish to ignore – especially in a closely contested race (11% of those who voted in the October 2010 primary voted early: we believe the early voting percentage will be similar this Tuesday). These early voting numbers are the ones that are typically reported on the TV screen several minutes after polls close at 8 PM.
As a final note, we have attached the partisan composition of the absentee vote for both the October primary and November runoff for comparison’s sake.