'Steady' But 'Not Tremendously Heavy' Sounds Accurate in Durham

Posted: May 06, 2008 5:45 PM

DURHAM, N.C.-- From my own unscientific investigation of the Obama-leaning precincts in my area of Durham, awash in Duke professors and black voters, it looks like turn-out was, indeed, steady but not overwhelming today.

A nearby elementary school reported 488 voters by about 4:30 p.m., which the chief judge of the precinct said was better than other primaries, but she didn't sound overly enthused. The guy manning the ballot counter said the precinct usually sees about 300 in a day, so the number could end up far above that by the time the after-work rush is over.

A nearby middle school reported 140 voters by 10 a.m. A long-time voter at the precinct placed the average around that same time at 120 during the past couple of primary elections. I checked back at about 5 p.m. and it was 312, which was good, but not outstanding, according to the woman at the ballot box. She also noted that many people had voted on the last day of early voting, Saturday. The entire state reported long lines for early voting this weekend, some two hours long and many populated by young voters, which bodes well for Obama.

A local high school was a slightly different story. Early this morning, it had seen 84 voters by 8 a.m., but I'm not sure of the afternoon total.

I talked to a poll watcher in Jacksonville, N.C., which would be a Hillary area, and the story was much the same-- good turn-out, but not outstanding.

All of this could, of course, change in the evening rush, but it sounds in tune with what the state board of elections is saying. A very small cross-section, but for what it's worth, this is a slice of "Obama Country."

Meet the voters of Durham. I'm a fan of the lovely sticker on the right (Republicans for Voldemort):