Another dispatch from reader David Ramos:
Final totals on early voting in Colorado from the Secretary of State’s office:
Total ballots cast – 1,640,023
Total Republican voters – 605,586
Total Democratic voters – 567,569
Total Unaffiliated (Independent) voters – 449,720
Total third party voters – 17,148
In the swing counties
Arapahoe County – Republicans lead by 1,327
Jefferson County – Republicans lead by 6,602
Larimer County – Republicans lead by 7,004
In the strong Democratic counties
Denver – Democrats lead by 68,736
Boulder – Democrats lead by 11,488
Adams – Democrats lead by 11,416
Pueblo – Democrats lead by 10,702
In the strong Republican counties
El Paso – Republicans lead by 45,204
Douglas – Republicans lead by 39,166
Mesa – Republicans lead by 14,183
Weld – Republicans lead by 12,600
What the numbers mean:
The Democrats – Their GOTV effort need to run up their totals in their strong counties. If there’s a surprise in the EV numbers, it’s from Boulder County. In the state, Boulder is commonly referred to as the “People’s Republic of Boulder.” For Democrats to be ahead only by 11,488, it may be a sign the more extreme elements of the Democrat party are disappointed with Obama.
The Republicans – If they’ve saved their turnout for Election Day, they need to run up their totals in El Paso County – we’re talking at least a 65-35 split. The best margin of victory ever was Bush 43 in 2004 where he won El Paso County 75-25. Douglas County has a strong Libertarian bent, but are reliably Republican in their voting pattern.
The Unaffiliateds (Independents) – They have the key to victory. It would be safe to assume unaffiliateds in strong Democratic areas to identify and vote closer to the Democratic side, and unaffiliateds in strong Republican areas to identify and vote closer to the Republican side. The unaffiliated voter bloc to watch will be in the swing counties of Jefferson, Arapahoe, and Larimer.
Total unaffiliated (independent) early voters – swing counties
Arapahoe – 48,625
Jefferson – 60,600
Larimer – 37,485
If they split along the same percentages as the R/D pairing in these counties, this is what you would see:
Arapahoe – 24,546 voted Republican
Jefferson – 31,666 voted Republican
Larimer – 20,381 voted Republican
The Republican lean among unaffiliated voters in these three swing counties is averaging 52-48 in favor of Romney.
Based on these numbers, the early voting pattern is showing Romney is doing what he needs to do to carry Colorado: mind the gap – especially in the swing counties, lead among independent voters, and increase his margin in solid Republican areas. Please note these totals only reflect those ballots cast on voting machines at EV sites. Mail-in and absentee ballots are counted on election night. Hope this gives a better view of how Colorado stands heading into election day.
— David Ramos