Hiller Instinct: Voter turnout
The Hiller Instinct: Hiller Instinct: Voter turnout
The polls will be open until 8 p.m., so things can still change, but what we're seeing so far today is more voters than expected in several cities and towns, suggesting the 20 percent turnout predicted by the Secretary of State may be low.
Boston, for example, is on track right now to match its turnout in the 2002 primaries, when about 25 percent of eligible voters cast ballots.
And turnout in Quincy, Braintree and Holbrook could top 30 percent based on the number of early voters.
We also checked our three tracking towns, where local results in past Democratic primaries have been very close to the statewide returns.
We're told the turnout in them is heavier than expected. And that's a plus for Deval Patrick, since our polling shows him the favorite in those communities.
There are approximately 3.5 million Democrats and Independents eligible to vote in the Democratic primary today.
The Republicans have a primary too to select a candidate to run against Ted Kennedy, but the turnout for that will be relatively light.
A high turnout in the Democratic primary should be helpful for Deval Patrick, while a very high turnout could benefit Chris Gabrieli, because he's trying to get Independents, who normally don't vote in primaries, to go to the polls.
"Well now, it's all about what candidate brings out their vote," Professor David Paleologos, a Suffolk University pollster, said. "It doesn't really matter what the total vote is. The total vote could be 800,000 votes. What matters is who has the boots on the ground -- the field -- to bring out your vote."
This is a good time on Election Day for the candidates, because they can all think they're winning, and no one can say they're wrong.
But that won't be true two hours from now. Stay tuned.
Live in the newsroom, Andy Hiller, 7News.
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