President Obama appears to hold a significant edge in early voting in basically every important swing state, which should given him a built-in advantage heading into November 6th. The Obama campaign ground game has been very successful at convincing Democrats and Obama supporters to cast their ballots well ahead of election day.
In the all-important swing state of Ohio, roughly 20 percent of the vote has already been cast. While the race is basically tied overall, Obama is up by double-digits among those who have cast their ballots already. According to Quinnipiac polling, 54 percent of Ohioans who have already voted supported Obama while just 39 percent supported Romney. Similarly, PPP found Obama leading among those who have already voted 66 percent to 34 percent.
Ohio isn’t the only state where polling shows Obama has already banked a large share of his vote. In Iowa, roughly a third of the vote has already be cast and PPP found Obama is winning the early vote 64 percent to 35 percent.
In other swing states the partisan breakdown of absentee ballots/early vote strongly indicates Obama has a big edge. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, 51,120 votes have already been cast by registered Democrats while only 37,800 votes have been cast by Republicans. Early voting in North Carolina paints a similar story. In the first four days of early voting, significantly more Democrats than Republicans cast ballots. According to an analysis by Michael Bitzer, “In looking at the trend lines for registered Democrats, Republicans and Unaffiliated voters casting ballots, all of them are above their 2008 numbers — with Democrats making considerable totals added to their numbers from four years ago.”
The Obama ground game is significantly larger than Romney’s and it is clear from the early voting that it remains highly effective. Ballots cast early do count the same as ballots cast on election day but these votes for Obama are permanently locked in. On the other hand, the people planning to vote for Romney can still theoretically change their mind or end up not voting. Having much of the Democratic-leaning vote cast early also means the Obama campaign will have a smaller universe of people to focus on for get-out-the-vote efforts on election day.
Photo by OFA Virginia under Creative Commons License