Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Straw Polls and Armchair Analysis.

I've been wondering exactly what the two party's turnout has been, and finding a drought of journalism on the story -- on a national scale; there are many like this -- so, I decided to boot up the good old Excel and spend a bit crunching some numbers. Call it an experiment in Computer Assisted Journalism, I hear it's all the rage. The New York Times out of all of the leading websites -- CNN, The Washington Post, etc. -- has the most efficient web interface for this. Their Primary schedule categorizes the format of each state's election format, whether a primary or a caucus, and because of the trouble with counting voter turnout in caucuses -- see the brouhaha over Nevada's -- I did not include them in my totals.

So far it looks like the Democrats are leading by a considerable margin in pure voter turnout. According to my numbers they have seen close to 14 million participate in the primaries, while the Republicans are lagging at only around 9 million. This is a heartening result, and of course is entirely unscientific; for example, in California, a heavily democratic state, the total Democratic turnout was close to 2 million more than the Republicans managed to poll which skews these partial results heavily. If we ignore california entirely so as to remove some bias, the split is closer 6 million for the republicans to 8 for the Democrats. The numbers for each state are below:

State Democratic
New Hampshire 287,322 238,548 48,774
South Carolina 532,227 431,196 101,031
Alabama 542,511 567,291 24,780
Arizona 376,926 451,641 74,715
Arkansas 287,025 209,543 77,482
California 4,059,713 2,323,663 1,736,050
Connecticut 353,515 151,212 202,303
Deleware 96,341 50,237 46,104
Georgia 1,054,799 960,351 94,448
Massachussetts 1,254,537 497,531 757,006
Missouri 823,503 589,289 234,214
New Jersey 1,115,188 558,201 556,987
New York 1,747,978 606,479 1,141,499
Oklahoma 417,096 333,602 83,494
Tennessee 618,723 549,515 69,208
Utah 124,307 284,790 160,483
Totals 13,691,711 8,803,089 4,888,622

Of course, this is a big hay bale of analysis because these primaries were completely separate: neither party was in contest with the other, so the votes are skewed by statistical anomalies too complex to fathom (some Republicans could've voted in the far more media centric Democratic race for kicks). It's still an interesting bit to figure out.

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