After taking Sunday off (there's no mail delivered then, so no new mail-in ballots to count), here's the latest daily update in the absentee-ballot voting war. It's like the others: Bigger than the day before; and Republicans leading in ballots already cast, but not like they used to. Republicans are ahead by 5.4 percentage points (note: it looks like 6% in the numbers below due to rounding). But that's down compared to this point in 2008, when their cast ballots were about 17 points higher than Democratic absentee ballots cast, according to Democrats.**
Still, it's a GOP lead. Expect that to change when in-person early voting, which Democrats dominate, begins Saturday Oct. 27.
Top 15 AB-voting hotspots, which account for 68 percent of the ballots cast (R/D=Republican-Democrat):
**One of the reasons Democrats are doing better with absentee ballots is that they have to because the GOP-controlled Legislature cut back on in-person early voting hours relative to 2008, when Democrats swamped the polls during a cumulative 120 hours of early voting over 14 days. Now, the days are limited to eight and the hours to 96 (note: the hours were always capped at 96 total, but then Gov. Charlie Crist issued an executive order that kept the early voting polls open longer).
We last explored this in an article when the vote hit the half-million mark