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15 September 2010

Historical Trends Show Women Will Cast More Ballots Than Men In 2010

Earlier this week, SurveyUSA released a poll on five statewide races appearing on the Georgia ballot this November.

Screwing up the composition of likely voters, the way SurveyUSA has with the number of male and female voters in Georgia, makes it hard to give credence to the poll in its entirety.

Republicans are crowing because the survey's results show their candidates with wide leads over the Democrats [Geraghty, Jim (2010-9-13). GOP in Position to Sweep Georgia’s Statewide Offices. National Review. Retrieved on 2010-9-15.]. Democrats are questioning the accuracy of the poll, and consider the numbers flawed [Morton, Amy (2010-9-13). Spin Game. Blog for Democracy. Retrieved on 2010-9-15.].

Yesterday, using numbers provided by the Secretary of State Elections Division, I detailed the black composition of Georgia's electorate over the past twelve years. Blacks, from 1996 to 2008, have averaged 24.2% of the state's electorate. SurveyUSA, in its crosstabs, pegged the black composition of likely voters at 23%.

For male voters and female voters, the numbers from SurveyUSA suggest that men will outnumber women at the ballot box by eight points -- 54% to 46%. However, historical trends suggest the exact opposite.

Year
Number of Ballots
Cast
Number of Female
Ballots Cast
Female Percentage
of the Electorate
2008

3,934,388

2,149,338

54.63%

2006

2,134,908

1,140,641

53.43%

2004

3,285,140

1,820,264

55.41%

2002

2,029,216

1,097,543

54.09%

2000

2,655,325

1,471,827

55.43%

1998

1,817,615

987,603

54.34%

1996

2,341,821

1,273,370

54.38%


Year
Number of Ballots
Cast
Number of Male
Ballots Cast
Male Percentage
of the Electorate
2008

3,934,388

1,671,836

42.49%

2006

2,134,908

965,891

45.24%

2004

3,285,140

1,430,252

43.54%

2002

2,029,216

931,673

45.91%

2000

2,655,325

1,183,498

44.57%

1998

1,817,615

829,718

45.65%

1996

2,341,821

1,038,699

44.35%


From 1996 to 2008, female voters have outnumbered male voters on an average of 54.53% to 44.54%. The SurveyUSA poll says that among women voters, Barnes and Deal are tied at 46% a piece. Among male voters, Deal holds a wide lead over Barnes, 52% to 32%.

The Democrats may be right that the SurveyUSA poll may be a bit off-kilter.

Screwing up the composition of likely voters, the way SurveyUSA has with the number of male and female voters in Georgia, makes it hard to give credence to the poll in its entirety.