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.




@ coasterfan:

No, Pres. Bush and Pres. Obama - borrow and spend.

the office cat

Marsh. policIES. Please, PLEASE stop demonstrating you are one of the undereducated white guys.

the office cat

Marsh. policIES. Please, PLEASE stop demonstrating you are one of the undereducated white guys.


"There simply aren't enough angry, undereducated white men for Romney to have clear path to victory."

There's a lot of them in this blog.


Some of you have a really bad case of Romnesia. Luckily for you, as a pre-existing condition, you are covered under Obamacare. Progressives= Progress.


@ coasterfan:

Early Progressives knew and wrote that Progressivism was socialism. Know your history.

American Progressives fool themselves into thinking that they are smarter than the Russian Bolsheviks - they ain't.


the office cat

Whoa... Teddy Roosevelt was a socialist? Founded the Progressive Party in 1912... a party that, among other things, welcomed women. He was the originator of the environmental initiative. I know... to you, such progressiveness in socialist.


Ahh yes. Do you ever have an original thought?


Coasterfan if you don't mind I'm putting up your transmission direction at work Monday. Okay? R = backward/reverse. D=Forward/drive.


Sure,go ahead. I heard it from Marcy Kaptur. Thought it summed up things perfectly, in an easy to remember fashion.


D > drive > forward= Democrat

R > reverse > fourth century = Republican


Non working Obama supporters first to polls. Hard working Republicans that don't have time to vote early will do their workday obligations and then vote when they have the spare time.

the office cat

thinktwice... If what you say is true... then it's Obama all the way... the poll parking lot was FULL


Romney desperate in Ohio


Desperate Romney is right. In Fremont today, Biden pointed out to the crowd that Romney had basically been called a liar by two American CEOs in the final week of the campaign for his false Jeep China ads,a first by any presidential candidate in modern times.
Finished by asking what kind of person would attempt to scare voters who just recovered from recession-induced worries about job security? Clearly,Romney is a man lacking in character with little understanding or regard for the common man.

Darwin's choice

Yet,clearly, you and biden are lacking period!


little man


“There’s never been a day in the last four years I’ve been proud to be his vice president, Not one single day.”
We hear you Joe, I wouldnt be proud either.

the office cat

Where did you get that misquote? Oh, that's right, you don't do sources.

Second Opinion

For SEVEN HOURS our Navy Seals asked for backup in a battle at our U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya
Strange, Obama asked the Seals to get Bin Laden and they did. They in turn asked for backup from Obama and he refused.
Strange that the main press, including this one IGNORES these facts, but I’m sure after the election they will jump on it.

the office cat

Second... why is it so difficult for you Obama-haters to give sources? Which Seal?


I think it's how you plant your foot when you first start out. Since Obama planted false hopes he will be putting that foot in his mouth on Tuesday.

the office cat

Thinktwice... not gettin' away without sources or expanding that 'false hopes' thing. And please, be factual.


I worked till six, can see who worked today and who spent the day on the computer.......


It depends on how you work. I bundled work with well, homework and play, also found a few times to check in here from three different cities in Ohio, using three different desktops and a quick peek from a cell phone. While driving I have my first three radio channels set to MSNBC, CNN & Fox, (left to right) : ) I like to hear three different perspectives about current politics while driving.

the office cat

So... the economy's improvement is exemplified in you... even if you've had this job a decade, there is enough work to keep you traveling. So did you vote this morning before setting out or waiting until tonight. Or did you betray the Repubs vote and vote early.


Yup, because in Kimo's world everyone works a 9-5 union job. Sorry friend, less than 10% of the population has a job like that.

the office cat

KD Again, WOW! Unions only work 9-5? Once again demonstrating the ramblings of one of those undereducated white men.

Darwin's choice

With the reports of voters so far, if it's a close race, Romney Wins. If it's a landslide, Obama loses! Good bye Obama!

the office cat

Darwin's Ape (Choice): So, either way Romney wins, right?