28 October 2010

How is Question A doing among early voters?

Update: Based on the fifth day of early voting, the newest projections are 49.3% for and 44.5% Against.

Two recent polls have shown a very tight race in regards to Question A, the referendum to approve the Anne Arundel County zoning bill authorizing slots adjacent to Arundel Mills Mall.  The first poll was 47-45 for, while the second was 48-45 for.  If we ignore the margins of error and presume the actual numbers are correct (a dangerous proposition, to be sure), and then use the breakdown of partisan voting in the second poll to allocate votes, can we find if Question A is winning or losing so far in early voting?  There are a lot of assumptions there, and a lot of accumulated errors that we're ignoring, but it can at least help us make an educated guess.  The State Board of Elections gives us early voting turnout numbers by county; and the Gonzales poll showed a party breakdown of D (56 for, 37 against), R (44-51), and U (39-54).

Through the first four days of early voting, 9,148 Democrats have voted, 7,015 Republicans, and 2,246 Unafiliated or other party voters.  Taking the percentages from the Gonzales poll and applying those proportions to those that have already voted, we find that an estimated 9,085 people would have voted for Question A, and 9,324 have voted against it; or 49.4% for, 44.4% against, and 6.2% undecided.  This appears to show an edge to the For Question A side, on the strength of higher Democrat turnout in early voting.  Democrats represent 44% of registered voters in Anne Arundel County, as compared to 37% for Republicans and the remainder other parties or unaffiliated; Democrats have accounted for nearly 50% of early voters (nearly +6 as compared to registration), while Republicans have accounted for 38% of early voters (less than +2 as compared to registration).  Expected stronger Republican turnout on Election Day will inevitably make this projected lead for Question A smaller.

Projected Question A votes (through the first four days of early voting):
49.4% For
44.4% Against
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