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.




Chuck's statements bear only a slight resemblance to anything close to the actual truth...

John Harville

@Swiss Cheese (apt name) You are gonna have to prove Number 2 or I'm going to insist your thread be taken down.

John Harville

@Swiss Cheese: "the very fabrics of our republic as our Founding Fathers knew it and as we know it." Did YOU really write that? Let's check the fibers of 'your' fabric.
1. Senate elected buy the State legislatures.
2. No votes for women.
3. Black male counted as 3/5 of a white male.
4. Slavery continues.
5. No statements on marriage.
6. Noo Bill of Rights (Not ratified until two years after Constitution ratified - four years after Constitution written)
"...a constitution,intended to endure for ages to come, and consequentluy, to be adapted to the various crises of human affairs." - John Marshall


I said it more than six months ago. The 2012 Election will be exactly like the 2004 Election. An unpopular, vulnerable, and beatable incumbent wins reelection because the extremists on the other side are over confident so they run their "dream" candidate so they can finally get their extremist agenda passed. In 2004, it was the far left Democrats with John Kerry and in 2012 it's the far right Republicans with Mitt Romney. Although neither Kerry nor Romney have been extremists for the most part, their campaigns were run by those that were. Simply running an "anti-the other guy" campaign rarely works. Neither Kerry nor Romney were very specific about what they intended to do if elected. They wanted to run "personality" campaigns and they lost. Bush in 2004 and Obama in 2012 were too well organized to be beaten. It's always difficult to beat an incumbent.


jas, it's a shame that after nearly four years of being president, the only thing Obama's campaign has to run on is "anti-the other guy". Unfortunately, he cannot run on his record.

John Harville

I am so tired of hearing this tired argument. Just because the accomplishments of which I approve, does not diminish their importance. But 'the other guy' gives him so much fodder - from all 'the many mouths of Mitt'


Romney an extremist? I hope you are a better attorney than you are a political analyst. If you look at Romney's stint as a governor, I would say he is a moderate, maybe even slightly left of center. Romney or Obama, you are likely to get more of the same. The repubs certainly didn't run a conservative this time, by any means.

John Harville

KD... they THOUGHT they were - until October 2.


FBI arrested a woman GOP voter for voting twice in Las Vegas.

The only thing you need to remember about Romney is that McCain thought Sara Palin was more intelligent.........


@ Kimo:

Correction: "Attempting" to vote for a second time.

How do you know; maybe she was a disgruntled Repub votin' for Mr. Obama or maybe she was votin' for a ballot issue?


Romney not so dumb. I heard he went to France instead of Vietnam.



Not everyone who was drafted went to Vietnam.

The questions are: What was Mr. Romney's draft status and what was his number?

Research the BIG LIE surrounding the USS Maddox and the USS Turner Joy that helped lead to the deaths and maiming of hundreds of thousands of Americans and Vietnamese.


John Harville

@Contango... Romney had a special deferment set aside for Mormon men on Mission - personally known from two Mormon relatives who spent the war mostly on the Riviera. Romney draft number 300... of which none were drafted. "As the Vietnam War raged in the 1960s, Mitt Romney received a deferment from the draft as a Mormon "minister of religion" for the duration of his missionary work in France, which lasted two and a half years." -Boston Globe. Same article,... he received 3 1/2-year deferment while in college and demonstrating in favor of the war and the draft. The only way he could have served in Vietnam was to volunteer - as did many of us for love of country.

the office cat

@Contango.. what, no response to John's information on Romney's status and his Mormon Deferment? Seen a lot of that on here...John presents facts to refute some wild argument and no one responds... hmmmmmmm


It's not their way to respond to facts - just to make up their own - and when they loose their argument - they just change the subject to something else.


not nearly as funny as the 4 union idiots driving a union vehicle stealing romney signs. that is the face of the stupidocrats the democraps ugly stepsister!


Did you watch the news last night? She voted for Obama. I know it is hard for you Kimo, but please try to get your news from someone other than Rachel Madcow.

John Harville

KD. Cite the newscast please...
"Roxanne Rubin, a registered Republican from Henderson, Nev., was arrested Friday on a felony charge of attempting to vote twice in the same election." --Faux News. No report on for whom she said she voted the first time...she wasn't allowed to vote second time.
Now... about that newscast?

the office cat

Knucles... what he said. What news?

Julie R.

I can't wait until this election is OVER!

Darwin's choice

Scientists now have an explanation.....http://youtu.be/Fos4EPUOsHo


Our leader?
Your choice!


Knuckle who you for 4 is your business. My logic behind our next Pres, is proven.....high school students opinions. It hasen't failed me for decades; though imo. the race will be close.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


When driving America in the correct direction, put your transmission in D (Democrat) to move Forward. Select R (republican) to move Backwards.


Drive right off that fiscal cliff coaster! Maybe then we will not have to listen to the idiotic rambling of the left.


Nice try, but I think everyone is well aware which party turned a budget surplus into a huge deficit. It's why you were voted out in 2008...


@ coasterfan:

You mean the Repub Party in Congress?

Let's conveniently forget the 2000 Tech Wreck which began in March.

Business spending dropped off for Y2K leading to an economic slowdown.

the office cat

...and who bought in to the Y2K malarkey?


You obviously havent paid attention to who was in charge of the purse strings (Spoiler: Congress) And the correlation of when spending exploded who controlled congress (Another spoiler: the democrats) and the inability of the democrats to even pass a budget.
BTW I was not voted out of anything, I am going to be left holding the debt from Mr spenditall Obama.