Six weeks post-election I'm well on the road to recovery. I went non-stop for about a year and a half - from the time I started booking caucus rooms in April 2019, through the primary and into the presidential. That's three whole Taylor Swift albums if that's how you keep score.
Voter history records are a different thing than canvassed vote totals, and the two different sets of numbers are rarely a perfect match. The main problem is that 99 counties are all balancing the books at once and that registration activity is constant. So sometimes another county takes a voter away from us before we can give them credit for voting - which is NOT the same thing as counting the vote. The statistical report for our county is within 20 of the canvassed number of voters, which is about as close as it ever gets.
Here's the party breakdown of voters by party, with a grand total and split into by election day and early voting.
While the early voters were overwhelmingly Democratic, the Democrats and Republicans were nearly tied on Election Day. More no party people voted on Election Day than either major party. Libertarians were the only voters more likely to vote on Election Day than early. I suspect that's student-age election day registrations; statistically Libertarians lean very young.
The 72.4% of the total vote that was cast early is down a little bit from the record 76.7% from the primary,
probably due to the mail scare and due to COVID fatigue. The primary voting window in May was during the peak
of what little semi-shutdown down Iowa had.(One stat we didn't keep: how many mailed-out ballots were returned through the postal system vs. our drop boxes.)
Democrats were much much more likely to vote by mail and much, much less
likely to go to the polls. Everyone was about equally likely to vote at
a satellite or at our drive-thru. No partys (I really hate the word "independent") and Republicans were similar in
behavior - less likely mail, more likely polls. Libertarians were the
only people MORE likely to go to the polls than vote early,
Here's the vote totals, which we're more familiar with. This is also lower than the total turnout of 84,198. There were 347 presidential under-votes, which may seem hard to believe but is in the normal range. Sorry, Kanye, but I've combined the lower tier and the write-ins into an "other" category.
Now I indulge in sheer speculation and try to figure out what the no partys did. There's no way to tell, of course, but I'll play with numbers and make some false assumptions: that all members of a party voted for their party's
candidate, and that only No Party people did write ins or voted for miscellaneous candidates. Then I just subtracted the difference.
|Estimated No Party Votes||Early||Election Day||Total|
No party early voters voted much like the rest of the early voters, nearly four to one Biden, and just a little bit more third party. But the Election Day no party voters leaned about 5 points more Trump than the rest of election day voters. As we saw, the Election Day voters by party affiliation leaned disproportionately R as well.
The Election Day no partys likely had a lot of weak voters or people who though COVID was Fake News, both groups that would lean Trump. End result was that no party overall was very blue by the standards of a normal Iowa place but a little redder than the standards of the People's Republic.
This really nails down my long time theory: No party voters are just like partisan voters, they just don't like checking the box for whatever reason, and once you get them in the booth they pretty much behave like partisans.