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November 2014 Election Eve Analysis (November 2014)

Monday, November 3, 2014

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SAN DIEGO - On the eve of Election Day, the National University System Institute for Policy Research (NUSIPR) is now projecting only about a third of registered voters will cast ballots by Tuesday. Using election data from the Registrar of Voters and Political Data Inc., NUSIPR evaluated the early ballots received for the November 4th gubernatorial general election.

Overall, we found that:

• Voter turnout will reach another historic low. Absentee ballot returns have been surprisingly slow, and are not expected to dramatically pick up in the next 24 hours. NUSIPR has now downgraded its final projection for voter turnout from 42-46% to the range of 34-38%.
• Republican, older voters lead the absentee ballot count. These favorable voter trends give 52nd Congressional District Carl DeMaio a significant edge over incumbent Rep. Scott Peters.
• City Council District 6 candidates are locked in a tight race. With no strong partisan leanings in the early absentee ballot count, District 6 candidates Carol Kim and Chris Cate are expected to battle over undecided voters until the final hours of Election Day.
• More than 170,000 ballots will be cast countywide on Election Day. Approximately 28-30% of ballots will be cast at polling locations on Election Day.
• Low voter participation may be systemic. A combination of demographic shifts, technology changes and electoral reforms may be leading San Diego and the rest of the state towards a new period of low voter participation for the remainder of the decade.

“Our earlier projection of a shift from a ‘red’, Republican-dominated summer election to a ‘purple’ mixed fall election has not materialized, nor have the infrequent, younger voters who skip primaries and show up for general contests,” remarked Vince Vasquez, author of the report. “While this may be good news for local GOP candidates on the ballot, a greater public dialogue is needed about the real troubling undercurrents of this phenomenon.”