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Are newly registered really going to vote?

By Peter St. Onge

Have Barack Obama's voter registration efforts resulted in actual votes?

Skeptics of Obama's much-discussed ground game have noted that historically, newly registered voters often don't make it to the voting booth. And while early voting records have been set around the country, the numbers haven't revealed how many of those ballots are from enthusiastic – but previously registered – voters.

But with early N.C. voting completed Saturday, 466,000 of 869,000 new voters (people who registered to vote since Jan 1, 2008) have cast ballots, says the Observer's Ted Mellnik, who sifted through N.C. data Sunday.

That's a startling new voter turnout rate of 54 percent, with Election Day yet to come. Previously registered N.C. voters are turning out at a 40 percent rate.

The turnout breakdown of new voters:

Party: Democrats 53 percent, Republicans 21 percent, unaffiliated 25 percent.

Republican officials note that their vaunted get-out-the-vote efforts are geared toward Election Day. They're counting on a Tuesday surge to offset what seems to be an early-voting deficit.

Polls of the day

State

Pennsylvania

Pollster

Rasmussen

Numbers

President: Barack Obama 52, John McCain 46.

Details

700 likely voters, margin of error +/- 3.8 percentage points

What it means

Rasmussen had McCain moving to within four points of Obama on Saturday. Another pollster, Survey USA, had Obama leading by seven Sunday. Mason Dixon, in a poll taken Tuesday and Wednesday, had Obama up four. The state is critical to McCain's electoral strategy.

State

Virginia

Pollster

Survey USA

Numbers

President: Barack Obama 50, John McCain 46.

Details

672 likely voters, margin of error +/- 3.9 percentage points

What it means

Several polls now show Virginia to be a tight race. Survey USA showed a nine-point Obama lead one week ago.

Online readers say …

EVERYONE needs to vote. If you don't vote, you have no right to complain about the state of the government. I am taking two of my neighbors who are in their 70s to the polls on Tuesday so they can vote for the first time in over 12 years.

Anonymous

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