The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

The Morning Turnout Report


Turnout reports are all over the map this morning, both figuratively and literally.


Here in Yuppie Acres, Alexandria, turnout was roughly what I remember in last year’s gubernatorial race.

One reader in one of Virginia’s not-really-hard-fought 1st congressional district (Krystal Ball may be a lot of fun at Christmas parties, but she’s not a competitive candidate) says he too, finds turnout comparable to last year’s gubernatorial race; while another in the same district finds turnout way, way down at his usual polling place.


From a reader: “I’m in Macomb County, the heart of ‘Reagan Democrat’ country. The polls opened at 7:00, I was there at 7:02 and got ballot #38.  There was a line out the door when I got there and still was when I left. Overheard a conversation between two women in line behind me: 

Woman #1:  I don’t usually vote, but my husband told me this time I needed to go.  I haven’t been paying attention, way too many ads all the time.  He said just vote straight Republican.

Woman #2:  That’s what I’m doing. 

Several other affirmations along those lines.  Completely unscientific but I think a hopeful sign.”


“Just chiming in from lovely Ponte Vedra, FL . . . Showed up at my polling place at 10 minutes before the polls opened (7:00 AM here), and there were already about 15 people . . . by the time I left after voting, there were at least 25-30, although the line wasn’t quite out the door yet . . . In comparison, when I voted in 2008, it was about 2/3 as much at around the same time of day, if I remember correctly . . . so seemed a bit busier today, in my opinion.”

New York:

“To answer your Morning Jolt — Yes, I voted. 6:00 on the dot in a NYC suburb (Port Washington) — #1 in my ED. It was clearly more crowded than usual at that hour when I have voted that early in the past. There will be some confusion with the new optical scanners. The sweet ladies behind the desk were a bit befuddled but handled it okay in the end. But if long lines develop, problems will arise. Slow downs are inevitable. The scanner wouldn’t take my (straight R) ballot on the first try. Had to try it a few times. But then it counted! It didn’t feel like a ‘real vote’ though. I wanted the feeling of click, click, click. And it seemed a little less private as my ballot was exposed when going into the scanner. But it’s done. And Carl Paladino, DioGuardi, Bentsen, and Milano were ahead with 100% of the vote in my ED — at least for a minute.”

North Carolina:

In the 4th congressional district: “Absolutely no line at my precinct. Some empty voting booths. At 8:00am I was the 162nd voter; polls opened at 6:30 a.m. Of course, 2008 was a completely different story. A check of the trash can on the way out would suggest that a large number of people had taken the conservative ‘voting guide’ that was offered outside the polling place. Not exactly scientific, I know, but you deal with the tea leaves that are available, right?”

Tags: Election Day


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