GOP coming out in droves to vote early in Ohio

A story out of Columbus Ohio reports that the Romney campaign has made vast improvements to take advantage of the early voting option in Ohio. In the last election, John McCain prevailed on the actual Election Day in terms of the in person voting that took place at polling locations. He subsequently lost the state, however, because Barack Obama had taken advantage of the early voting and built up a significant lead. According to the story, it’s not going to be anything like 2008 for the president:

Schweikart found some of the most significant swings came in the state’s large, heavily Democratic urban counties. Summit County, where Akron is located, led urban counties in pro-Republican swings with a 24-point shift.

“In terms of absentee ballot requests, Republicans are hugely over-performing their 2008 levels, and the Democrats are underperforming compared to 2008, especially in the big counties,” he said. “What’s this means is that the polls are wrong. For weeks polls have shown an Obama lead ranging from 1 point to 8 points. But these absentee ballot requests reflect a huge enthusiasm gap among Democrats and Republicans, and I’m predicting a total shift from 2008.”

The analysis assumes undeclared voters will be evenly split between Republicans and Democrats.

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Early voting shows positive signs for the GOP

(October 4, 2012 – Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America)

I don’t know how he finds the time (or the information), but Keith Backer from www.battlegroundwatch.com put together another stellar analysis about some of the early positive indications coming in from early voting.  This is echoed by the Washington Post.  Bear in mind, the actual voting isn’t announced until the tally is counted on election night, however, campaigns and political insiders are often able to get a sense of the trajectory of the race by looking at the party affiliation of the people submitting the ballots.  Here’s a clip from the Washington Post’s story:

Among the 29,400 voters who have cast absentee ballots in North Carolina, 54 percent are registered Republicans and 28 percent are Democrats, according to the United States Elections Project at George Mason University.

It’s a small sample — more than 2.6 million people voted before Election Day in North Carolina in 2008. And these are all mail ballots, which have historically favored Republicans; in-person voting starts Oct. 18 in North Carolina. Nevertheless, Republicans are encouraged because McCain lost the state’s early vote by 11 percentage points.

“North Carolina was a place that they totally caught us flat-footed in 2008,” Beeson said. “They jumped out to a lead and never looked back. You don’t see that happening this time — Republicans have the lead.”

Florida’s sample is even smaller — only 14,500 votes so far — but it too favors Republicans over Democrats, 53 percent to 32 percent. In 2008, nearly 4.6 million voters in Florida cast ballots before Election Day.

Democrats have a big lead in Iowa — as they did in the past two presidential elections. About 60 percent of the 127,100 voters who have cast absentee ballots so far were registered Democrats. Twenty-two percent were Republicans and 18 percent were unaffiliated, according to the United States Elections Project.

Note that in Iowa, this type of trend is typical.  In 2004, when Bush eventually carried the state, Democrats leaped out of the blocks early as well and built an initial lead before the GOP came back and prevailed on election day.  Iowa is still crucial, however, and Romney is making strides in blunting that advantage.  Check out this link from the Free Republic.