Obama seems to have early vote lead in key states

President Barack Obama heads toward Election Day with an apparent lead over Republican Mitt Romney among early voters in key states that could decide the election.
Associated Press
Nov 4, 2012

Obama's advantage, however, isn't as big as the one he had over John McCain four years ago, giving Romney's campaign hope that the former Massachusetts governor can erase the gap when people vote on Tuesday.

More than 27 million people already have voted in 34 states and the District of Columbia. No votes will be counted until Election Day but several battleground states are releasing the party affiliation of people who have voted early.

So far, Democratic voters outnumber Republicans in Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio — five states that could decide the election, if they voted the same way. Republicans have the edge in Colorado, which Obama won in 2008.

Obama dominated early voting in 2008, building up such big leads in Colorado, Florida, Iowa and North Carolina that he won each state despite losing the Election Day vote, according to voting data compiled by The Associated Press.

"In 2008, the McCain campaign didn't have any mobilization in place to really do early voting," said Michael McDonald, an early voting expert at George Mason University who tallies voting statistics for the United States Elections Project. "This time around the Romney campaign is not making the same mistake as the McCain campaign did."

McDonald said he sees a shift toward Republicans among early voters, which could make a difference in North Carolina, which Obama won by the slimmest of margins in 2008, only 14,000 votes. The Republican shift, however, might not be enough to wipe out Obama's advantage in Iowa and Nevada, which Obama won more comfortably in 2008.

In Colorado, Florida and Ohio, get ready for a long night of vote counting on Tuesday.

Romney's campaign aides say they are doing so much better than McCain did four years ago that Romney is in great shape to overtake Obama in many of the most competitive states.

"They are underperforming what their 2008 numbers were and we are overperforming where we were in 2008," said Rich Beeson, Romney's political director. "We feel very good heading into the Tuesday election."

Obama's campaign counters that Romney can't win the presidency simply by doing better than McCain.

"It's not about whether or not they're doing better than John McCain did," said Jeremy Bird, Obama's national field director. "It's about whether or not they're doing better than us."

About 35 percent of voters are expected to cast ballots before Tuesday, either by mail or in person.

Voters always can cross party lines when they vote for any office, and there are enough independent voters in many states to swing the election, if enough of them vote the same way. Still, both campaigns are following the early voting numbers closely, using them to gauge their progress and plan their Election Day strategies.

A look at early voting in the tightest states:



About 1.6 million people have voted, and Republicans outnumber Democrats 37 percent to 35 percent. Those numbers are a reversal from four years ago at this time. Inevitably, Obama won the early vote by 9 percentage points in 2008, giving him a big enough cushion to win the state, despite narrowly losing the Election Day vote.

Early voting in Colorado is expected to account for about 80 percent of all votes cast, giving it more weight than in other states.



About 3.9 million people have voted, and 43 percent were Democrats and 40 percent were Republicans. For years ago at this time, Democratic early voters had a 9 percentage point lead over Republicans.

Obama won Florida's early vote by 10 percentage points in 2008, getting 400,000 more early votes than McCain, enough to offset McCain's advantage on Election Day.

In Florida, Republicans have historically done better among people who vote by mail, while Democrats have done better among people who vote early in person. For 2012, Florida's Republican-led Legislature reduced the number of in-person early voting days from 14 to eight.

The Obama campaign responded by encouraging more supporters to vote by mail, and Democrats were able to narrow the gap among mail ballots. Democrats quickly took the lead among all early voters, once in-person early voting started. But the margins are slim.

The Obama campaign acknowledges it must do better among Florida's Election Day voters than Obama did on 2008, when McCain won the Election Day vote by 5 percentage points.



About 614,000 people have voted, already exceeding Iowa's total number of early votes in 2008. So far this year, 43 percent of early voters were Democrats and 32 percent were Republicans.

Four years ago, Obama won the early vote in Iowa by a whopping 27 percentage points, 63 percent to 36 percent. McCain, meanwhile, won the Election Day vote by about 1,800 votes — less than a percentage point. Together, they added up to a 10-point victory for Obama.

Romney's campaign argues that Democrats always do better among early voters in Iowa while Republicans do better among Election Day voters, even when President George W. Bush narrowly carried the state in 2004.

Obama's campaign counters that with early voting on the rise, Romney will be left with fewer Election Day voters to make up the difference.



About 628,000 people have voted, and 44 percent were Democrats and 37 percent were Republicans. Four years ago, Obama won Nevada's early vote big, 59 percent to 39 percent. Obama also won Nevada's Election Day vote on his way to a comfortable 13-point win over McCain.

The Romney campaign argues that Obama isn't doing nearly as well among early voters in Nevada as he did in 2008. The Obama campaign argues that it doesn't have to.


North Carolina

About 2.5 million people have voted, and 48 percent of them were Democrats and 32 percent of them were Republicans. Four years ago at this time, Democrats had a slightly larger lead over Republicans, and Obama won the early vote by 11 percentage points.

Obama lost the Election Day Vote by 17 percentage points in 2008. But the early vote was much bigger than the Election Day vote, resulting in Obama's narrow win.

Obama's campaign cites the big lead for Democrats among early voters, while Romney's campaign argues that even a small shift toward the Republicans could flip the state to Romney.



More than 1.6 million people have voted, and 29 percent were Democrats and 23 percent were Republicans. Forty-seven percent were unaffiliated, more than enough voters to swing the state to either candidate.

Ohio may once again be pivotal in the race for the presidency. Unfortunately, Ohio's early voting data is limited. Party affiliation in Ohio is based on the last primary in which a voter participated, so new voters and those who don't vote in primaries are listed as unaffiliated.

In 2008, Obama won Ohio by 5 percentage points.




Obama will win. Then we will hear about theft, fraud, etc.


That is how he got the last one also.Plus he promised the HISPANICS CITIZENSHIP FOR BREAKING OUR LAWS,THE POOR CELL PHONE'S AND WELFARE,THE MUSLIMS FREEDOM TO TAKE OVER THE COUNTRY,THE COLLEGE KIDS FORGIVENESS ON LOANS,THE BLACKS THE FACT HE IS 1/2 BLACK AND A CITIZEN.It is Scientific fact that the human brain is not mature enough to make an intelligent decision until 25.Why do you think they go to colleges to speak?The Seniors he promised the other guy would kill them,when he already has that built into Bozo Care.You people are just as stupid as the GERMAN'S WERE IN !933.WAIT TILL THE U.N.comes and takes your guns and only the criminals have them!


I wouldn't count on that Kurt, since only 29% of the votes cast in early voting are from Dems. As opposed to Dems, Repubs typically turn out in droves on election day. With only a 29% showing in early voting, despite the huge push by Obama to get them to the polls before they change their mind, I would count on a dismal turnout by Dems on election day. I wouldn't listen to the polls, I'm not the only one who gets 5 calls per day from polls and tells them I am voting for Obama. When polls are sampling +9-+12 Dem to Republican it is not going to be accurate, considering it won't be anywhere close to that ratio on election day. Contrary to what some would have you believe on this site, most people just aren't that fired up about Obama. That will likely mean many of his would be supporters won't show up to vote.




I hope when they come after us they get you first !

The Big Dog's back

Gee knuckle, you prove my point that Repubs have to be dishonest to win.


Research, puppy, research. Do a little bit of it from sources other than the Daily Kos, and PMSNBC. Nothing dishonest about what I said. With a 29% turnout by Dems in early voting in Ohio, Obama has a good chance of going down on election day. We can still count on Dems whining about disenfranchisement though, through the whole process. After all, having a whole month to vote still isn't enough for them to get off their rears and vote (29% proves it). Hey, maybe we should give them a whole year to vote, they might get up to 30% then. LOL.

John Harville

KD... what you're forgetting is that a lot of Democrats, having no race in the Demo primary, took GOP tickets and voted heavily for Santorum. The ballot you take in primary determines your party registration until the next primary in which you vote. Also remember Santorum carried a lot of counties... and almost the state... because a lot of Repubs vote for ABR. If you don't vote in primary - or vote issues-only - you are 'non-preference' though not necessarily 'independent'.

swiss cheese kat

@ KnuckleDragger,
good luck trying to prove a point with The Big Dog's back. They is only a rabid obama supporter with no facts.


I'm sorry - but there is no way he can prove a point, when he doesn't even know what the point is!!! Dog was NOT talking about that. And why should you vote early - all that does is delay the results if it is too close and then you won't know who won for maybe several days! You guys amaze me with your lack of thinks and lack of comprehension.

I beleive what big dog was referring to was KD's reference to lying to the pollsters when they call him! That, is the dishonesty he was referring to. Of course, I thought your type relied heavily on the polls to do your arguments with. FOX News definitely talk about the polls continuously and even compare them at times. And all the while, there are R's out there distorting the poll data on purpose. With this in mind, you have no clue at all WHO is in the lead, now do you? Everyone wants to rely on numbers and this poll proves this and that poll proves that - polls do not prove anything when the numbers are being tainted by the people taking the polls.

KD is being dishonest when taking polls - he admitted it here. And this is exactly what big dog was referring to - and the dishonest republicans here didn't even notice that, because their leader has taught them and if they say something enough it will become true.

I think Romney is going down in flames - especially in Ohio where he has done nothing but lie lie lie lie. And unfortunately, for him, many people know this to be fact. It is also fact, that MI, MA, and UT have openly stated they are not voting for him - that is a very sad indicator as to what kind of a person he really is.


LOL!! @sanduskysteve, you wouldn't know a point if it hit you in the face. If you think that it is just repubs that are dishonest with pollsters, you are nuts!!! In the beginning, I had no problem answering truthfully but the past 2 wks my phone rings off the hook with pollsters and I am fed up with the inconvenience. I shouldn't have to take my phone off the hook to get some peace. Between them and the barrage of calls from the UAW urging us to vote for Obama I have about had it. My wife hasn't been a member of the UAW since she led a successful drive to have them decertified at her place of employment. You would think she would be the last person they would contact. Anyway, my point being, I'm not sure how old you are but I remember when Jimmy Carter was up 47% to 39% over Reagan 2wks before the election in 1980. I know, you libs will pull up some liberal site that says Carter never led Reagan, sorry I looked at the Gallup poll which was also verified by the NY Times so the lib sites are full of it. Anyway Reagan won by a landslide. All I can say is we shall see tomorrow. In the end, does it really matter? Both are weak candidates without much of an upside. Either way, we lose!

John Harville

You;re all forgetting that most poll calls only go to landlines. While some cell numbers are available, most are not unless they blind dial. KD must have done something special to get all those calls.

John Harville

Voting early does not delay the results. Those are opened and counted on election night.
The only possible delay is if Husted is successful in trying to throw out provisional ballots - which are not opened or counted until 10 days after the election.



Lets' get past this presidental election nonsense, re-elected Pres. Obama and get started with the House Benghazi terrorist attack cover-up hearings!!!

Pres. Biden 2014 (or sooner).


John Harville

@Contango. Oh good. There it is. What took so long? This report was released Friday:
"The military also immediately moved an unarmed Predator surveillance drone to Benghazi airspace to provide real-time intelligence on the situation for the CIA officers on the ground who were fighting the militants.

The Pentagon comments came a day after senior U.S. intelligence officials detailed the CIA's rescue efforts, striking back at allegations they failed to respond quickly or efficiently against the deadly attack, which killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Two of those Americans were ex-Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glenn Doherty, who initially were identified publicly as State Department contractors. But on Thursday, the intelligence officials said they were CIA contractors. Previously the agency had asked The Associated Press and other news organizations to avoid linking the men to the CIA because the officials claimed that doing so would endanger the lives of other security contractors working for other agencies around the world. -AP 11/2


No Big Dog. Just the fact that Republicans were all at work instead of sitting home collecting welfare. We WILL vote and be heard Tuesday!

The Big Dog's back

You may be heard but you're still going to lose.

John Harville

Wow @Reva... so America IS working and the economy IS improving by 177,000 in October! You are living texting proof that Ohio unemployment is down to 7%. We are SOOOOOOOOOOOO happy for you Republicans - and our countless Democrat and Independent friends who also are working - and not sitting at home like KD answering another robo polling call!

looking around

Go forward with Obama - Biden

Darwin's choice

If they're your idea of going forward, I fear for America! Do you realize we are only a heartbeat away from having Biden our leader! That thought is terrifying!


Not nearly as terrifying as the thought that we could have had Sarah Palin in that position.


Really? I was unaware she was running. Typical lib, still can't let go of the past.

John Harville

DC Not NEARLY as frightening that Mitt is 65, has emotional/mental issues (according to his wife) and that 'Scream' face Paul Ryan is in the wings (Mitt would have to have a heart for it to beat)

swiss cheese kat

8 reasons not to re-elect President Obama,

10) Obama's economic actions have failed to lower the unemployment rate in the U.S. to less than 8 percent for the past 42 months, which is a record.

9) The Obama administration's out-of-control spending has led America to the economic brink and destroyed our country's credit rating.

8) Obama's reckless spending and fiscal policies have added more to the national debt than most U.S. presidents combined -- roughly $6 trillion in his first term in office (making the total debt nearly $16 trillion and, by White House projections alone, $21.3 trillion by the end of fiscal 2017, $25 trillion in 2021 and $25.9 trillion in 2022).

7) Obama has detrimentally increased not only the costs of entitlements but also the dependency of citizens upon government subsidies rather than empower the people's autonomy, responsibility and freedom.

6) Obama demeans private enterprise and the entrepreneurial spirit -- the very heart of America.

5) President Obama has left the U.S. in a weaker and more disrespected position in the global community.

4) Obama has broken or unfulfilled 324 campaign promises.

3) Through his presidency, President Obama is invoking and enabling a radically progressive secular state in the U.S.

Here are the last two unquestionable justifications for ousting Obama from office:

2) Obama elevates himself above the U.S. Constitution -- which contains the rulebook for his presidency -- discarding and bypassing its principles and tenets.

1) Four more years of President Obama will not only fundamentally transform but also unravel the very fabrics of our republic as our Founding Fathers knew it and as we know it.


Chuck Norris wrote this and it shows. He is passionate but we we need a leader not a lone wolf.

10) Obama failed to lower unemployment numbers. An Romney will do better why? His expertise is cutting jobs.

9) Credit rating was already destroyed in before he took office. Remember the reason for the bail outs?

8) Obama's reckless spending came from two wars he inherited. Suggesting he should have cut and run the first day in office?

7) What entitlements does Romney intend to undo? Social Security? Government/military pensions? Good luck with that.

6) Demeans the private enterprise how? Name 100 people that did not go into business for themselves because of Obama and I will believe that.

5) Only country (that we are not at war with) that favors America less is Israel. They want us to fight another holy war. No thanks.

4) Obama has broken campaign promises. Agreed. Romney promises to overturn Roe v. Wade and fight the Chinese. We'll see.

3) Obama wants a secular state and thats bad. Is he saying Romney wants the country to be Mormon?

2) Obama elevates himself about the Constitution. Then impeach him before the election.

1) Its the presidents job to transform the country. A president who doesn't do that will cause the demise of the republic. The world changes regardless of how much we want it to stay still. Adapt or die are the only options.

John Harville

The president's job? No one else has a role? Talk about trashing the Constitution. You just wiped out the Legislative and Judicial branches and the Bill of Rights.


Did not say that no one else has a role. Just said it was his job. Are you voting for the status quo? Or do you want change?


america's credit rating was downgraded in the last year.


with Standard and Poors only, not with Moody's and Fitch.