Local Politics

White men casting early votes in droves

Posted October 18, 2010

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— After three days, one-stop early voting is on a record-setting pace for a midterm election, and white Republican men are leading the way in casting early ballots, according to an analysis by Democracy North Carolina.

The nonpartisan political watchdog group says the total number of Republicans who voted between Thursday and Saturday still trailed Democrats statewide by about 4,300. Yet, the margin is significantly smaller than the 3-1 ratio Democrats held in 2008.

“Early voting doesn’t favor one party or another, but reveals who’s most organized and enthusiastic about making their voices heard,” Bob Hall, executive director of Democracy North Carolina, said in a statement.

In 2008, black Democratic women led all groups in the 17-day early voting period, helping to propel Barack Obama to a surprise victory in North Carolina, the group said.

"It's a dramatic change, very illustrative, very symbolic of the times," Hall said.

So far, 72,173 voters have cast early ballots, which more than doubles the number cast after the first three days of early voting in 2006. Two years ago, more than 266,000 voters crowded one-stop centers in the first three days of early voting.

White men registered as Republicans cast more than 14,700 of the votes so far, followed by 12,250 white Republican women, according to Democracy North Carolina.

Early voting Early voting off to record start for midterm election

"As an indicator, we're seeing a higher proportion of Republicans who are voting earlier than they certainly did in 2008 and (higher) comparative to Democrats," Hall said.

"I think we're going to do good," said Charles Rhodes, a Republican who cast his vote Monday at the Wake County Board of Elections office. "We've lost touch with reality – the white male. We kind of take care of everybody, (and) we just don't like what's going on."

White men registered as Democrats have cast about 10,000 early votes, and white Democratic women about 10,200, the analysis shows. Black voters lag behind in early voting this year, with 4,500 men and 6,400 women casting ballots.

"The Republicans are more motivated to vote," GOP strategist Carter Wrenn said, noting pent-up anger over President Obama's policies.

Still, Wrenn said, early voting is only suggestive of what's going to happen, and there's little certainty in politics.

"The truth is, they're all signs," he said. "These are favorable signs if you're a Republican, but they're still only signs. They're not the final word."

Mae Williams Banks said she hopes her fellow Democrats will have a say in that final word on Election Day, like they did two years ago.

"If you're going to stay true, stay true," Banks said. "That's what I want people to understand. If you're going to vote one time, you should vote every time."

Brunswick County registered the most early votes, and Chatham, Johnston, Wayne and Wilson counties also ranked among the top 10 counties for most early votes through the first weekend.

Early voting continues through 1 p.m. Oct. 30. Counties have different schedules, including multiple locations and evening hours in some cases, and a complete list of sites and hours is available at the State Board of Elections website.


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  • BubbaDukeforPresident Oct 28, 2010

    I'm waiting until Tuesday to vote because I don't want any reason for my vote not to be counted.

    As for number crunching - 45,223 non-white, non-Republicans, voted as well. What the article is really talking about is that white people who may have not been engaged in previous elections are engaged now. What motivated them to get involved? The people who are still not engaged are young adults who either don't believe either party will make a difference, or they're going to wait and do the opposite of what the majority is doing so they can say it's not their fault when nothing changes.

    Republicans, and I am one, need to know that the party is very close to being irrelevant because of it's ineffective response to socialist trends. A new party will emerge unless the GOP goes back to their founding principles.

  • Birdman Oct 28, 2010

    Why are you trying to create racial tension?? It is not a white or black thing, it is an AMERICAN thing.

  • dumpbin Oct 28, 2010

    I'm a white male, I voted Democrat straight ticket. So not sure what this piece is suggesting. I guess GOP assumes all white men are Republicans. Whatever.

  • Nonewsisgoodnews Oct 20, 2010

    The title of this piece is more like something I'd read from the onion.

  • makingmagick Oct 20, 2010

    Why is this any different than reporting the exit polls on election day, or making predictions or posting polling results BEFORE the polls are closed?

    Can this information cause a change in voting habits? I believe it could!

    I would think giving out any voting information like this about election data before the end of the election would be against the law!

  • North Carolina Home Oct 19, 2010

    Another 6 hrs. as a poll observer today at an early voting site. Headline backfires. A huge number of WHITE MIDDLE/OLDER MALE voters cast early votes today. Message: be careful what you wish for.

  • carrboroyouth Oct 19, 2010

    Err pardon my number crunching but according to the linked spreadsheet:
    14,734 white men and 12,257 white women (Republicans) voted. 10,034 white men 10,223 white women voted (Democrats) voted.

    So roughly 24,000 white men and 22,000 white women - not really a big difference... anyone else find the headline misleading? Heck why not "droves of white people!"

  • mkg1047 Oct 19, 2010

    How is the Election Board determining who voted and the color? I don't trust the numbers because regardless they will find a way to remain "Democrat" strong. Is anyone honest any more?

  • ncwiseguy Oct 19, 2010

    "White men casting early votes in droves"

    what is this?? well obviously its a blatantly racist piece by wraltv, a liberal media outlet.

    why was it done? i would guess its an attempt to stir liberal, minority voters blood so they ll get out and vote against the gop (and whites?)

    interesting tactics wraltv.........very interesting.

    i d have to say though that the die is already cast. too little, too late, and too much damage already done by liberal/socialistic politicians.

    i m not voting for republicans or democrats. i m voting to restore this country to the great nation it once was.

    november 2010.......vote early, vote often.

    god bless the united states of america.

  • fatchanceimwrong Oct 19, 2010

    "I am seriously disappointed in WRAL for this headline. I think the comments it has generated speak to its quality and assume it did just what it was designed to do. Shame on you, WRAL!" - mrsmom

    Yep, but just look at all the advertising that 237 people and counting get to view. Wait, advertising dollars? Does that mean that WRAL makes a profit? Shameful.