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      11-05-2012, 04:53 PM   #1
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Early Voting Results for Swing States - Obama's in Trouble

COLORADO: The only early-voting battleground state where early voting has swung from favoring Democrats in ’08 to Republicans in ’12. Republicans now lead Democrats 37-35 percent in a state where more than 1.5 million have voted early, according to the Associated Press. Early voting is expected to make up the bulk of Colorado’s ballots (80 percent in ’08!), so it’s a very good sign Republicans are leading. Obama won early voting by 9 points in ’08.

The Denver Post offers the raw vote totals: “The party breakdown by those who have already voted is: Republicans, 624,788; Democrats, 590,417; and unaffiliated voters, 474,437.”

Obama won Colorado in 2008 by 8.6 percentage points, or 196,658 votes.
FLORIDA: In the Sunshine State, Republicans have closed a 7-point gap in early voting to a gap of 3.1 percent, according to ABC reporting.

Their current lead of nearly 60,000 votes is far short of the 280,000-vote lead (and 46-37 margin) they carried into Election Day in 2008. (The dropoff could be a result of the shortening of in-person early voting.) Republicans’ share of the early vote, 41 percent, is 5 points higher than their share of voter registration, 36 percent, while Democrats’ 43 percent of early voters is just 2 points above their 41 percent voter registration share. In a state Obama won by less than 3 points in 2008, where the majority of votes are early and Republicans tend to win Election Day, any falloff should be concerning for Democrats.
IOWA: Democrats maintain a significant lead in early voting in the Hawkeye State, but it’s a 10-percent lead as compared to a 27-point lead for Obama in ’08. The total number of early votes is up over ’08 suggesting Republicans are far outperforming the McCain effort.

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.
But USA Today notes a potential problem for Obama: “40,000 (Democrats) had not returned their mail ballots, compared with 21,000 Republicans.”

Jamie Dupree of Cox Media has more details on Iowa absentee returns and enthusiasm, where Republicans are outdoing Democrats on the return rate:

IOWA ABSENTEE BALLOT RETURNS: Dems 42.2%, GOP 32.1%, Indies 25.6%; 2008 was 46.9% D, 28.9% R & 24.2% indy/other

IOWA ABSENTEES ENTHUSIASM: Dems have sent in 88.4% of their ballots, Republicans 92% and indies/other 85.2%
NEVADA: Democrats lead 44-38. Obama won early voters, which made up more than 2/3 of Nevada’s vote, 59-39 in 2008 and won the state by 12.

Bottom line, from both camps: “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: Democrats lead early voting 48-32 percent in 2012, down from a 51-30 lead in 2008. That sounds like a good margin, but keep in mind that McCain’s numbers were so good on Election Day that Obama still only won by fewer than 14,000 votes. In other words, a 21-point lead in early voting led to a .4-percent win for Obama during a historically bad year for Republicans.
OHIO: The Buckeye State is harder to gauge, as voters don’t register by party affiliation. The state does, however, identify which party’s primary they most recently participated in, so you get a decent idea of where a portion of the electorate is aligned. According to those numbers, Republicans have closed a 14-point gap in 2008 to a 6-point gap, 29-23. The stats are better for Republicans than in ’08, but a note of caution: Because the most recent contested primary was a Republican presidential primary, it makes sense you would see more Republican “registrations.” There are plenty of voters who don’t show up as Republican or Democrat, and I’m sure both camps would tell you they’re made up of sporadic or first-time voters their respective sides have succeeded in getting to the polls. No way to tell.
WISCONSIN: There is also no party registration in Wisconsin, but in a state constantly in election mode for the past three years, there are plenty of indicators. Ben Domenech, writing in The Transom, looks at one:

…shocking early vote numbers from the state, which really do indicate an Obama machine which has failed to deliver an advantage for the president in a state that’s gone blue in six consecutive presidential elections.

Here’s a few of those early vote numbers which stand out: One of the first signs of trouble for the Democrats during the Walker recall was when Dane County, which has about a 110k population advantage on Waukesha county and includes blue-dominated Madison and the University of Wisconsin campus, had only about a 2k advantage in early voting and absentees. Democrats later claimed the surprisingly close number was due to a lack of college kids in Madison.

As of the latest update from Wisconsin early voting, the gap between Dane and Waukesha is once again 2k. But that’s with a massive increase in the overall vote, meaning the gap is even less statistically significant than before. So here’s the big question for Wisconsin Democrats: where are your college kids? What happened to them? Why do you have to send Katy Perry to Milwaukee this weekend and Bruce Springsteen to Madison on Monday in the hopes of getting them out?
A Springsteen event in Madison drew 80,000 in ’04 for Kerry. It drew 18,000 for Obama today.
So for all these battleground states.. the early voting and absentee ballots show a trend of Obama being off the 2008 levels and Romney either outperforming or maintaining 2008 levels. This contradicts clearly any split in the electorate that the current Polls show a D+7 and above like it was in 2008. (link to the analysis)

Real votes matter and right now, real votes are in Romney's favor.
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