Of the presidentially relevant states, North Carolina sent out its ballots a while ago, and Wisconsin voters should be getting their absentee ballots in the mail. Iowa will be joining them this week, while Ohio and Florida will start sending theirs out next week.
What that means is that a significant chunk of those state's voters will have voted before the end of the final debate on Oct. 22.
Anyone who thinks that Mitt Romney can change the dynamics of this race with a late ad barrage (when he has less money than Obama) or a good debate performance (when the dynamics of that don't suit him) haven't looked at the calendar. Most voters in key battleground states will have voted before Election Day. The calendar has shifted.
Indeed, check out how many people have voted early the last two cycles in these key battleground states:Those early voting numbers should continue to rise this year, as more and more people get used to getting those ballots and maling them in. The notion that Romney has six weeks to turn things around is simply no longer true. He has less time because on Election Day in many states, the in-person voter pool will be a fraction of the total votes cast.