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Nearly 1 million (997,524) people have already voted in North Carolina. By comparison, at the same time in 2008, 797,256 people had voted early. Overall, turnout is up by 200,268, a 25.1% increase over 2008.

Click on the picture below for a full sized chart.

On every single day of early voting, the number of likely Obama supporters who have voted has exceeded the number of likely Obama supporters who voted in 2008.

Likewise, on every single day of early voting, the number of likely Romney supporters who have voted has exceeded the number of likely McCain supporters who voted in 2008.

But the degree to which Obama and the GOP have exceeded their 2008 early vote numbers has varied over time:

Over the first part of the early voting period, (estimated) Obama turnout and (estimated) Romney turnout exceeded 2008 levels by about the same amount. But since Monday, Romney has exceeded McCain's 2008 daily totals by an average of about 15,000 votes per day, while Obama has exceeded his own 2008 daily totals by an average of about 3,000 votes per day.

As a general rule, Obama has done relatively on days when turnout has exceeded 2008 levels by the most, while Romney has done relatively better on days when turnout was only a bit above 2008 levels.

Undoubtedly, Romney is happy to be turning out more early voters than did McCain. Nonetheless, he is still running substantially behind Obama - by something like 104,417 votes. 100,000 votes is not an insignificant margin in any state, and Romney has his work cut out for him if he is going to catch up on election day.

Any notion that Romney can afford to abandon NC and stop spending time and money in North Carolina is simply laughable. The increase in Republican turnout for Romney is an advantage for Romney, but whether or not it is a decisive advantage depends upon whether or not the increased early GOP turnout spells decreased election day GOP turnout.

Win or lose, President Obama is forcing Romney to fight tooth and nail for North Carolina - a state which, just 8 years ago, George W. Bush won in a 56-44 landslide over John Kerry, even though Kerry had North Carolina Senator John Edwards on the ticket as VP.

Turnout Graphs:

Minority and White Democratic turnout is up compared to 2008:

As is White Republican turnout:

Obama's vote margin is increasing. But, the rate at which it is increasing, in comparison to 2008, has slowed since Monday.

Which is evident in the daily margins:

As a percentage, Obama's estimated vote share is behind 2008 levels, although most of this is due to the fact that turnout is higher; the vote margins are closer to 2008 than the percentages would suggest.

Previous NC Early Voting Diaries:

Day 1 & Methodology
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6

9:17 AM PT: Update: For those of you in NC who have not voted, you can find a location where you can vote early here.

Thanks to dean4ever for the link.

Originally posted to MattTX on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 09:03 AM PDT.

Also republished by North Carolina BLUE.

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