I just returned from the early voting site at the Government Center in Downtown Miami. The sight was thrilling. There is a steady stream of voters, and the crowd skews to the young and minority. At another site here in Miami, over one thousand, mostly minority, voters are waiting in line. They want to change our country. I salute Governor Crist for expanding the early voting hours here in Florida. It took some courage, and it was the right thing to do.
When I got back to the computer, I saw that the three tracking polls that Gallup has been showing have converged, and all are at approximately 52-42 Obama. Just a few days ago, the "traditional" model -- based on past voter behavior -- was at 49-46, assuming "sporadic" voters wouldn't show up at the polls. At the same point in time just days ago, Gallup's "expanded" model was basically in line with the polling for all registered voters, with Obama in the low 50's and McCain in the low 40's. The "expanded" model assumed that people who said they were planning to vote actually would.
So, how does Gallup explain today's convergence? Early voting. Early voting patterns have been consistent with the assumptions in Gallup's "expanded" poll that "sporadic" Democratic voters would actually show up. And, indeed, in early voting, it appears that "sporadic" Democratic voters are doing just that. So, they've gone from "unlikely" voters in the "traditional" model, to not only "likely", but to people who can actually check "voting" off of their "to do" list.
Getting people to the polls is just what Obama's young, smart operation has been doing for nearly a year now, leaving primary opponents shaking their heads. Convincing "sporadic" Democratic voters to get to the polls has been what the effort in South Florida has been all about. I have never seen a volunteer effort like it in any Florida campaign, ever. I expect the laser focus and effort to stay in place through Tuesday.