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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Ohio’s dramatic shift in absentee ballot requests favor Romney

In looking through a few posts online about the status of Romney’s campaign in Ohio, I came across the usual tid-bits about his post-debate

poll bounce.  I also encountered an encouraging bit of information posted by Guy Bensen (Townhall.com) and Ace of Spades HQ.  Check out this breakdown of the absentee ballot requests.  (Here’s a hint: it looks nothing like 2008.)

The Republicans have shrunk the gap nine percent overall since 2008, but the numbers are even more dramatic in Ohio’s key counties:

Champaign County: Was +3% GOP, now +23% GOP – 20-point shift
Columbiana County: Was +9% DEM, now +9% GOP – 18-point shift
Crawford County: Was +3% DEM, now +12% GOP – 15-point shift
Cuyahoga County: Was +36% DEM, now +30% DEM – 6-point shift
Erie County: Was +24% DEM, now +7% DEM – 17-point shift
Franklin County: Was +5% DEM, now +5% GOP – 10-point shift
Greene County: Was +4% DEM, now +19% GOP – 23-point shift
Harrison County: Was +22% DEM, now +5% DEM – 17-point shift
Hamilton County: Was +7% GOP, now +13% GOP – 6-point shift
Licking County: Was TIED, now +16% GOP – 16-point shift
Montgomery County: Was +29% DEM, now +5% DEM – 24-point shift
Muskingum County: Was +1% DEM, now +16% GOP – 17-point shift
Pickaway County: Was +12% DEM, now +15% GOP – 27-point shift
Seneca County: Was +1% DEM, now +13% GOP – 14-point shift
Summit County: Was +33% DEM, now +6 DEM – 27-point shift
Wood County: Was +10% DEM, now +1% GOP – 11-point shift

The five largest counties in the Buckeye State have all shifted toward the GOP by at least six percent (and as much as 27 percent) since 2008. While the polls show Obama ahead in Ohio, these ballot request numbers suggest that Mitt Romney is in a much better position there today than John McCain was four years ago.

 If you are really nerdy and want to look at the numbers in more detail, check out this link.