Politico‘s Carrie Budoff Brown has some good tips for getting the early skinny on today’s primary elections in North Carolina and Indiana. For NC Brown advises “keep an eye on Raleigh-Durham area turnout,” which is a quarter to a third of the state-wide turnout. She quotes Morgan Jackson, a North Carolina political consultant, who says if turnout approaches 40 percent, it’s “good news” for Obama. Brown adds:
…Durham, which is 44 percent African American, could provide a gauge on turnout among one of Obama’s most loyal constituencies. Charlotte, Greensboro and Winston-Salem, all at least one-third black, are also worth watching. Obama needs strong turnout in towns with black colleges and universities, such as Elizabeth City in the northeastern corner of the state…
…Kokomo’s Howard County is the bellwether to watch…It is urban and rural, with a mix of African Americans and blue collar workers, some employed in the Chrysler plants…it tends to back the winner in gubernatorial, congressional and state legislative races.
For Indiana, Brown advises monitoring the turnout in Indianapolis, Gary and Bloomington, expected to be Obama strongholds. In terms of overall turnout, Brown says:
Analysts are expecting far bigger turnout this year than in 2004, when about 22 percent of voters cast ballots in the presidential primary, said Russell Hanson, a political science professor at Indiana University-Bloomington…A much bigger turnout is good news for Obama because it means “those who haven’t been politically engaged in the past are coming out,” Hanson said. “If that is not happening, then that is working in Clinton’s favor because the traditional [party] machinery is working.”
All good tips. Check also local television stations, like Raleigh’s WNCN 17 (NBC) and WRAL (CBS). For Indiana, check Indianapolis ABC affiliate WRTV and Fort Wayne’s WKJG (NBC). For newspapers, The Gary Post-Tribune, the Kokomo Tribune and The Charlotte Observer should be good for turnout updates.