This story in the Post is not a surprise to anyone who follows early voting.
All I can say to the Fenty and Gray forces is that early voting, in as much as we can generalize from other races in other states and localities, is more likely to reshuffle the electorate than change the electorate.
The fact that early voting is higher in Fenty strongholds may mean that Fenty has a better funded, better organized get out the vote operation. But it may also mean that areas where Fenty has more support are areas with voters who are, on average, whiter, better educated, and have higher incomes.
One important difference, however, is that this is a local race, and we have little empirical data on the turnout effects of early voting in local races. Many of us–me included–believe the impact is much greater in this contests. In addition, this is a relatively “high profile” contest, which will should only increase the turnout impact of early voting.
The reports of confrontations at the early voting stations is a cause for concern. I wonder what election day will bring. The next week should be interesting. Hope my friends Alysoun and Rokey at the DC office are hanging on. It will be a busy week.
Crossposted at http://electionupdates.caltech.edu