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2.7m Floridians have voted (30%?). Dems stretch early ballot lead to nearly 49,000 over Republicans

The early vote and absentee ballot data (EV/AB) is in, and it shows that Democrats on the fourth day of voting in-person voting extended their lead over total Republican ballots cast by about 48,600**.

In all, Democrats edged Republicans by 118,000 early vote ballots, but Republicans extended their absentee-vote lead to more than 69,000.

Nearly 2.7 million ballots have been cast out of a total 12 million registered voters, 75 percent of whom will probably vote. That means about 30 percent of the ballots are already in.

There's a dispute between the Republican and Democratic parties about what the numbers all mean. Republicans claim Democrats in 2008 were up by a total of 134,000 ballots at this time (four days into early voting). That number does seem high, and the Democrats say it's not true and that Republicans are playing fast and loose with the numbers.

It is true that total early voting is down by Dems from 134,000 to about 118,00 four days in. But that's not the net EVAB number. That's just early voting. And one of the reasons for the decline is that Democrats have shifted some of their early voters in 08 to being absentee-ballot voters in 2012. And Democrats have closed the big AB gap with the GOP by about two thirds since 08.

President Obama, however, clearly has a problem in the polls. They show him winning the early vote, however he's losing independents. About 450,000 have already cast ballots and they account for about 20 percent of the electorate.

Either way, Democrats are still up. A lead is a lead. But can they keep it through Election Day?

The totals for EV

Party     EV total           %
Dem     517,909 47%
Rep     399,687 36%
Ind     182,016 17%
Total  1,099,612

For AB

Party    AB total        %
Rep     686,671 44%
Dem     617,053 39%
Ind     264,691 17%
Total  1,568,415

Cumulative:

Party         Total            %
Dem  1,134,962 43%
Rep  1,086,358 41%
Ind     446,707 17%
Total  2,668,027

Note: The numbers might be slightly different later in the day when updates are posted. Lafayette County didn't post its data this morning

Comments

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SAR

In 2008, the partisan split of early votes (absentee + in-person) was D46, R37 (D+9) and Mr. Obama won the state by 3 points.

http://elections.gmu.edu/early_vote_2008.html

So the current D43, R41 (D+2) tilt is not particularly favorable for Mr. Obama.

Also note that today's numbers are the same as yesterday's on a percentage basis--D43, R41. The Democrats did not expand their early voting lead on that count.

Steve

Are you just not doing the top 15 counties anymore?

SAR


Mr. Caputo--Do you think it is good reporting to attack the GOP's claim that the Dems had a 134,000 lead in the 2008 early vote at this point by baldly asserting that the GOP number "seem[s] high" and parroting the Dems' claim that "it's not true and that Republicans are playing fast and loose with the numbers"? Good reporting calls for investigating the GOP's claim for yourself and--if the GOP number isn't accurate--telling us what the real number is.

Kevin Thurman

The GOP number isn't accurate, because it's an apple to oranges comparison. When the Republican legislature shorten early voting days that changed the way people are going to vote in this election and therefore comparing the two is difficult and

For example -- do we compare early vote from 6 days out from the election last time when there were 14 days or early voting or do we consider the trend or do we count from the first 3 days of voting. There isn't a right or wrong answer on that one.

What is true is Rs had a 250K turnout lead before election day on absentees and Ds had a 480K turnout lead on Early Vote going into election day. The current Dem lead on Early vote is smaller by 330K and the R Absentee vote lead for Rs is down 181K (if you count from 6 days out from the election). However, the R lead can't close anymore unless Dems stop returning ballots and the dem lead can increase. So as usual in FL -- it's a wash for now.

MACH1513

Right now, we are about 1,700,000 short of 2008 final early/absentee total with absentees within 10% of 2008 absentee total. Even generously assuming fairly heavy Democratic and Republican cannibalizing of early and election day ballots (38% Dem and 28% Rep on one media account) we still have an approximately 1 million vote shortfall in final early voter numbers. Assume the same distribution of future early voters to those already cast this year and we get another +125,000 Dem margin over Republican, without considering the relatively smaller number of absentees to be sent in (where there are now more Democratic than Republican ballots outstanding).
Where does that leave us? Not very far from 2008 margin.
It is like a game of chess: complicated, opaque, everything approximate. And, as in Grand Master chess, probably a draw.

Lazaro Jordan

I got clear that there are more Dems early voting that Reps but my question is: what's the voting trend of those 446,707 independents? That's what will decide in the end the Florida Vote for a President, though I personally think that up to the end more Reps than Dems will vote . I tend to think that from those independents most of them will go for Romney, do you agree?

LesG

Re: Lazaro Jordan comment above.

More than likely, the Indep. vote will split somewhere betw 55/45, 60/40, and 65/35 for Romney. (Most polls have it at 60/40.)

At the low end of that split range, that would be a 10% Romney margin, & at the high end a 30% Romney margin. Approx. 17% of the total cumulative FL vote by the end of election day is expected to be cast by Indep. So, at most, by percentage, Romney would get an edge of minimum 1.7% of the total vote (10% x 17%), or maximum 5.1% of the total vote (30% x 17%), depending on the actual Indep vote split. IF the Dems have more than a 5.1% edge of the total cumulative vote (in person plus absentee)over the total Repub cumulative vote (right now its a 2% edge and growing), then the Indep vote DOESN'T give the election to Romney. Instead, Obama would win based on the larger Dem vote than Repub vote.

Kal

Far more Republicans vote on election day than Democrats. Obama would need a large lead going into election day to take FL. He clearly doesn't have it. Taking the independent vote into account, he's behind already.

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