The absentee-ballot numbers are in and Florida has officially passed the 1 million absentee-vote mark. The GOP leads by 5 points. But Democrats can do some bragging, too. Around this time in 2008, they trailed Republicans by about 16 percentage points in voted absentee ballots. That lead has been cut by two-thirds.
Still, it's a lead by Republicans. And they've closed the gap when it comes to total voter registrations (see below)
Add in the outstanding requests, and Democrats boast that they cut the GOP's 11 point lead to about 1 percentage point when it comes to total absentee ballots requested at this point (that is, voted and outstanding ballots.
Before noting the top 15 AB-voting hotspots, it special attention needs to be drawn to Pinellas County, in which about 18 percent of its 620,000 active voters have already cast ballots. Pinellas, home to St. Petersburg, is 48 percent of Miami-Dade's voting-population size but has cast 23 percent more ballots (21,000) than Florida's largest county
This is from another blog yesterday, but it bears some repeating: While Democrats have closed the gap when it comes to voted absentee ballots, Republicans have closed the voter-registration gap.
In 2008, when Obama won Florida by 236,450 votes over John McCain, Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 657,775, or 36-42% (5.8 percentage points).
In 2012, Democrats outnumber Republicans by 501,443, or 36-40% (a 4.3 percentage-point lead).
Democrats have complained that the Republican-led Legislature dampened voter registration drives through an onerous crackdown, which has since been lifted by the courts. However, Democrats lost most of their voters before that law was passed.
Also, the Obama campaign has registered about 322,000 new voters and it's better organized than it was in 2008. So count that in the plus column for the Democrats.
Yet, relative to 2008, Republican Mitt Romney is in a much better position than McCain in Florida. So Republicans have an edge there.
** Note: This post was substantially updated