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As early vote-day dawns, 1.2m Floridians have voted by absentee ballot. GOP 5-point lead won't last long

The first day of in-person early voting, which Democrats typically dominate, began this morning with long lines and lots of enthusiasm (story here). The weather was also perfect in South Florida, a boon to President Obama, who needs a large turnout in the liberal stronghold to counteract GOP gains in absentee ballots, which have been mailed in (background on what it all means is here).

Right now, the GOP leads by about 5 percentage points. Around this time in 2008, Republicans led by more than 15 points. But then early in-person voting happened, and Democrats ran up a huge pre-Election Day lead.

But as of this morning, the GOP was still out front in voted ballots:

Party          Voted         %
REP         545,282 44%
DEM         482,742 39%
IND         200,493 16%
Total       1,228,517

Here are the outstanding requests (Note: If Democrats could get all their requesters to vote their absentee ballots, they'd be down by about 1.3 points):

Party        Requests          %
REP         548,317 38%
DEM         576,660 40%
IND         303,242 21%
Total       1,428,219

And here are the top 15 AB hotspots. Pinellas County, less than half the size of the largest county, Miami-Dade, is nevertheless No. 1 (Note: R/D=Republican-Democrat):

County        Total        REP         DEM          R/D 
PIN    133,171    55,187      52,237      2,950
DAD    109,638    48,477      41,797      6,680
HIL     85,096    33,303      36,639     (3,336)
ORA     65,446    25,436      28,971     (3,535)
BRO     61,336    17,757      33,768    (16,011)
BRE     51,693    25,508      18,541      6,967
SAR     49,975    22,462      19,066      3,396
LEE     48,202    24,645      14,464     10,181
POL     40,851    17,566      17,326         240
VOL     38,271    16,819      14,732      2,087
PAS     36,265    15,406      14,117      1,289
PAL     34,385    10,598      17,883     (7,285)
CLL     32,233    19,493       7,066     12,427
DUV     30,495    15,358      11,221      4,137
MAN     27,670    13,585       9,533      4,052

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