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3m FL ballots already cast; Dems open 59,000 early ballot lead over GOP. Is it enough for Obama?

More than 3 million Floridians have already voted, according to new early and absentee ballot (EVAB) numbers that show Democrats continue to add to their total lead over Republicans: about 59,000.

Democrats have cast 133,000 more early votes, Republicans cast about 74,000 more absentee ballots. That could be as much as a third of the electorate. (Totals below)

But is it enough for President Obama? In 2008, Obama had about a 280,000 cumulative early vote lead before the polls opened on Election Day. At the current rate of growth, it would take Obama nine more days to get there. But that would be Nov. 13, a week after the election. And early in-person voting ends Saturday.

Guess who cut early voting days? Republicans. In 2008, including an executive order from Gov. Charlie Crist, polls stayed open a cumulative 120 hours over 14 days. The Legislature and current Gov. Rick Scott cut those days to eight and capped cumulative hours at 96. Republicans point out that the new early voting law gives the right for early voting on weekends. But in South Florida, where a quarter of early voters cast ballots, citizens had two Sundays of early voting. Now they have only one.

There have been long lines, cries of disenfranchisement and even a "nightmare" of a problem for early voters. Democrats want Scott to exend early voting. Scott probably won't. Story is here.

The problems and the data also cast some doubt on how great the Obama "ground game" really is. When Miami Herald reporters went to the polls with problems yesterday, there was no visible Obama campaign presence, no staffers helping shuttle voters to the polls or providing a service to help those in North Miami get to, say, Miami Beach or downtown Miami, where wait times are so much shorter.

With a $1 billion campaign effort and all the talk of organization, wouldn't they provide a few shuttles in the most-crowded, most-Democratic and most-important (for Obama's sake) area of the state?

The Republicans have been crowing about the relative problems for Obama in 2012 compared to 2008. But Obama 2012 is not running against Obama 2008. He's running against Mitt Romney 2012. And the numbers re still show Republicans are losing the early vote. And, techincally, if the trend stays like this, that means Mitt Romney loses Election Day in Florida and therefore entirely loses his shot at the White House.

Polls, however, show Romney would win Election Day voters. But if the folks who can't vote early show up Election Day, forget the polls. Then again, polls also indicate independents are siding more with Romney. And North Florida Democrats often vote Republican.

Obama's campaign has been saying all along that the polls of likely voters are missing their voters whom they're turning out. But if you head to the polls now, it looks like those folks are their all on their lonesome, without any Obama ground-game crew to help them.

Early vote:

Party      EV Total           %
DEM     636,926 46%
REP     504,068 37%
IND     230,570 17%
Total  1,371,564


Party      AB Total            %
REP     734,084 44%
DEM     659,882 39%
IND     286,430 17%
Total  1,680,396


Party    EVAB Total            %
DEM  1,296,808 42%
REP  1,238,152 41%
IND     517,000 17%
Total  3,051,960