In a close election, it's all about getting your voters to actually get out and vote. George W. Bush did this very effectively in 2004. His "get out the vote" (GOTV) effort helped him defeat John Kerry by a little over 3,000,000 votes. Barack Obama realized this very early in his campaign and has put together a ground game that, so far, is looking even better than the 2004 Bush GOTV.
Poll after poll has shown that voter enthusiasm is much higher for Obama than John McCain. The big question is whether or not this enthusiasm will translate into votes. We have the first evidence that this enthusiasm is indeed resulting in people getting out to vote.
According to the Associated Press, in North Carolina, blacks make up 31 percent of early voters so far, even though they're just 21 percent of the population and made up only 19 percent of state's overall 2004 vote. In Georgia roughly 36 percent of the early voters are black , outpacing their 30 percent proportion of the state's population and their 25 percent share of the 2004 vote. In Louisiana, more than 31 percent of the early voters are black, and Democrats are topping Republicans nearly 2-to-1. In the crucial battleground state of Florida, nearly 55 percent of early voters are registered Democrats — well above their 41 percent share of the electorate in the Sunshine State.
Although we do not have any results, and will not have any until the polls close on November 4th, we do know that polls show that Obama should receive about 88 percent of the Democratic vote and 92 percent of the African-American vote.
If these trends continue, this election will not be close.