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