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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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Romney is ahead by at least 20+ with independents so I don't know how Obama can possibly win. In 2008 he won FL by just 2% so I suspect he will get trampled badly in November


re: Saphire Like so many Romney supporters -- you aren't looking at the math. It begins and end in the math.

In FL, 40% of regis voters are Dems, 41% are Repubs, & only 19% are "indep." Even if Romney has a 20% edge among indeps. in FL, that means 20% of the 19% -- or roughly an edge of ONLY 3.8% of total regis voters. That is hardly a wipeout.

If the numbers of Dems actually voting exceeds their % of regis voters, something that is already happening in early voting in Nevada, Iowa, Ohio and North Carolina -- then that 3.8% Romney margin is wiped out.
It all depends on turnout. And so far, in early voting in most battleground states (about 1/4 to 1/3 of ALL regis voters have ALREADY voted in those states as of Fri), Dem turnout is much larger than Repubs, and is larger than their % portion of regis voters. I suspect after in-person voting this weekend and next wk in FL, you will be adding FL to that list.

Stay tuned.

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