There is a very important deadline ahead on the calender that could be the difference in who wins the race for president in Virginia. Voter registration efforts end on October 6th, after that no new voters will be allowed to cast their ballots. That means the Obama campaign is working overtime to get new voters in the mix, in an effort to close an 8 point gap that was the difference in Virginia going Republican in 2004.
Our political analyst Dr. Daniel Palazzolo from the University of Richmond, explained this important strategic move to me over the weekend. He believes that the top brass of the Obama campaign have a specific number of new voters that they believe need to be registered by the deadline, in order for them to have a chance to win.
They are working off the premise that, of the voters that participated in 2004, a very small percentage will change their vote to a new party. Even if it is a monumental swing of 5%, that still leaves the democrats 3% short of winning in 2008. That means they have to overcome that swing by figuring out the raw number of voters they are behind by and then registering at least 30% more. (Based on the idea that only 70% of new registrants will vote at all and for their guy).
There are any number of ways to determine what the new registrant figure will be and I am sure they have internal polling, which shows them just what kind of a percentage of voters will swing from ’04 to ’08. But when those new numbers come out sometime in mid-October, we’ll do some figuring on our own to see if the Obama camp was as successful as they hoped to be.
According to the latest data provided by the State Board of Elections, 251,261 new voters have been registered and and almost 43% of them are under the age of 25. That is good news for Obama. But will it be enough? It is clear their campaign will continue to push. Here is a text message that was sent out to people who signed up to learn “first” as to who Obama’s running mate will be. Expect this to continue, right up until October 6th.