Early Vote Continues to Trend Republican

I was holding off putting a post together on early voting trends since the numbers are often small and at times indeterminate of actual party support.  But the trends are fairly consistent across the states where early voting is measured and every one is good for Team Romney.  The Washington Post takes a look at four states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa and North Carolina and pieced together available data that I will supplement where appropriate:

Obama dominated early voting in key states four years ago, giving him a big advantage over Republican John McCain before Election Day even arrived. In Colorado, Florida, Iowa and North Carolina, Obama built up such big leads among early voters that he won each state despite losing the Election Day vote, according to voting data compiled by The Associated Press.

Early voting for the presidential election has started in more than 30 states — much of it by mail, though some in person — and some important numbers are starting to dribble in. No votes will be counted until Nov. 6. However, North Carolina, Florida and Iowa report the party affiliation of people who have cast ballots. Other states will follow.

North Carolina

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.


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: Thanks to the stellar information from Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign operative Adrian Gray, we find out Romney is trending ahead of Bush’s 2004 pace when he carried the state. Also Democrats always have huge early leads but in 2010 the GOP reduced that lead to low single digits by election day which state officials expect to be repeated in 2012.


In Ohio, a perennial battleground state, Democrats have an edge over Republicans among people who have requested absentee ballots, though relatively few completed ballots have been submitted. Among the 691,000 people who have requested absentee ballots in 49 of the state’s 88 counties, 30 percent are Democrats and 24 percent are Republicans. Forty-six percent are unaffiliated voters, according to data collected by the AP.

Note: Thanks to a regular battelgroundwatch.com commenter, the most accurate information on Ohio is kept here.  And we see what was a Democrat advantage of 14 percent in 2008 is a 6 percent advantage today…minding the gap.

Early voting heats up late

About 35 percent of voters are expected to cast ballots before Election Day, either by mail or in person, a small increase over four years ago, according to Michael McDonald, an early voting expert at George Mason University. McDonald tallies voting statistics for the United States Elections Project. “Most of the early vote doesn’t happen until the last week of the election,” McDonald said.


  1. Doug Johnson
    Posted October 9, 2012 at 6:53 am | Permalink | Reply

    The absentee process in Ohio changed this year, possibly making election-to-election comparisons unreliable. In previous years, voters had to acquire an an absentee ballot request and send it in. This year, every registered voter was mailed a ballot request form. A change to previous patterns was inevitable.

    The in-person vote numbers will bear watching — that’s how to gauge enthusiasm.

  2. Posted October 9, 2012 at 7:34 am | Permalink | Reply

    Early voting is ongoing in NJ, (you can vote in person at any County Clerks office), I do not know if anyone is tracking the number of people who have voted. At the very least Romney has 2 votes.

  3. jvnvch
    Posted October 9, 2012 at 7:57 am | Permalink | Reply

    It shouldn’t be too much longer until the first pollster reports the results of having asked those interviewees who say they have already voted, how they voted. I consider that question to be among the most important a pollster can ask, at least at this point in a presidential race. Perhaps the most important.

  4. Posted October 30, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The trend is towards Romney and the Republicans. Hooray, Dee

3 Trackbacks

  1. By Early voting shows positive signs for the GOP on October 9, 2012 at 2:37 am

    […] the time (or the information), but Keith Backer from http://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 […]

  2. […] is translating into early vote trend in 2012 strongly favoring Republicans which is offsetting a huge Obama 2008 […]

  3. […] is translating into early vote trend in 2012 strongly favoring Republicans which is offsetting a huge Obama 2008 […]

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