Sunday, November 2, 2008

Do Early Voters Favor Obama? Yes, With Caveats

CBS News reports that early voters favor Obama over McCain 57-38. This survey is consistent with many other polls that also show the Democratic contender leading as election day approaches.

Sifting Through the Data
Although the poll shows a clear advantage for Obama, a closer look at the data reveals that much of the lead stems from a disprortionate share of traditional Democrats among early voters. The poll, for example, samples 50% registered Democratic voters but only 30% Republican voters. Also, women comprise 60% of the sample, while blacks comprise 16%; both figures exceed the expected share of the overall pool of likely voters for the two demographic groups (and these groups tend to vote for Democrats). Finally, not surprisingly, more of the voters in the sample chose Kerry over Bush. Although this poll confirms the safe assumption that Obama leads among early voters, the results do not mean that Tuesday's vote will mirror pre-election findings.

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