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More than 327,000 Floridians have already voted, and GOP sees a double edge

Republicans and Democrats in Florida are still casting ballots in record numbers, with more than 327,000 cast as of this morning.

Republicans still hold an edge, of about 4 percentage points. But Democrats boast that they've narrowed the gap, compared to 2008, by a factor of about 4. But Republicans counter back that their candidate this time is winning among independents in the polls -- and therefore likely among independents who have cast ballots, which account for 15 percent of the total.

Below are the voted totals by party:

REP         145,559 44%
DEM         131,428 40%
IND           50,405 15%
Tot         327,392

Hundreds of thousands of more absentee votes are going to pour in, with nearly 2 million requests still on the street.

REP         800,959 42%
DEM         750,586 40%
IND         347,668 18%
Tot       1,899,213

Republicans see two advantages here: a 2-point lead in requests and a lead among new voters. According to Republicans, about 23 percent of the Democratic requests were from early voters in 2008 (when they cast either absentee ballots or in-person ballots during the early voting period set to begin Oct. 27 this year). But of the Republican voters, only 13 percent early voted in 08.

"Not only are the Democrats merely shifting their early voters to become absentee voters (thus diluting their historical advantage in early voting), but the voters they are shifting are those who are already the most likely to vote this year," according to an analysis from the Republican National Committee.

The X-factor: early in person voting. Black voters, a core of the Democratic Party, generally prefer in-person voting to mail-in voting. And this afternoon, a coalition of black ministers met to plan out their latest get-out-the-vote effort called "Operation Lemonade."