Ravi, I’ve noticed you seem to be tracking early voting fairly consistently, so I was hoping you could explain something to me. I check the early voting statistics daily, and it seems republicans are voting in higher numbers than in 2008. One place where I’m a little confused though is in Ohio. It’s clear Republicans are requesting ballots at a pace that FAR outpaces 2008, but it’s almost TOO much of a swing. I know in Ohio, they don’t use voter registration per se, but are simply reporting the last primary they voted in. Does that matter? Is early voting in Ohio seriously favoring Romney that much, or is it just because of the weird way they classify voters. Please explain :)
I think you’re on to something there. As an example, FL, NC and IA seem pretty easy to track b/c when you register you pick a party. Therefore, the indies in those states are true independents for the most part with leans this way or that way. But in OH, since party is determined by which party primary you voted in, it would miss those dems or repubs that chose not to vote in a party primary. Also some counties I saw kept tabs back to 2006 to see if you voted in a party primary - that way you would still be listed as dem/repub if you voted in a primary in 2006 but not 2008/2010/2012. Not all counties do that I believe. But adding to the confusion, it seems not all counties are diligent with their labelling of repubs/dems/indies. I’ve seen reports where people that did actually vote in a party primary are still listed as indies/unaffiliated. How widespread is this error? I don’t know. I think this may throw the results to a slight extent especially for smaller counties who may not be as diligent. However for Cuyahoga which I’ve been following, their county registration status seems pretty up to date as far as I can tell. Dems there have voted in a dem primary and repubs in a repub primary. So I like to keep tabs on Cuyahoga just as a reference and preference to give me an idea of what’s going on. So there repubs have requested 45,000 ballots thus far compared to 35,000 all of 2008 - that right there on its face is an enthusiasm advantage. I don’t know how else this could be read. Of course dmes are requesting a lot of ballots also but are trailing our percentage of requests. They are at less than 33% of their registered voters and we are at more than 33% of our registered voters just for Cuyahoga. Franklin OTH is more confusing. There are a lot of indies how many are true indies and how many are dems and repubs I think is still open to question. Obama beating McCain by 21 points in 2008 was due to a lot of indies voting his way. They had not voted in any dem primary. We are ahead in Franklin now and McCain was behind but both dem/repub totals are eclipsed by unaffiliated totals - this is a county I am curious to see if anyone else can provide any insight. Hamilton seems to be coming back to the fold as a true swing county and at a 12% ballot request advantage currently, I think that county looks promising also.
LS is from Ohio and might also give you some insight.