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Every early-voting report I've seen (e.g., Ohio, Florida, Virginia) shows Obama winning big among early voters; at the same time, in the same states, predictions are that Romney will win by fairly healthy margins among voters who wait until November 6. Why should that be?

First, it contradicts the earlier meme about an enthusiasm gap between Romney supporters and Obama supporters. More enthusiasm should translate into more early voters, and less enthusiasm into fewer earlier voters, right?

Second, this sets up what could be an Election Day of discouraging exit-poll results: if Romney's voters in fact are waiting until November 6, and a large percentage of Obama voters have already voted, wouldn't that be the inevitable result: a dayful of mass media reports that "Romney leads exit polls!"?

Third, since an ever-larger percentage of voters now chooses early voting over Election Day voting, how will these votes be accounted for (if they are accounted for) in the exit-polling results?

Answers? (A superior ground game by Obama could be one answer to the first point, and I hope it is. But that doesn't cover points Nos. 2 and 3.)

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Comment Preferences

  •  Exit Pollsters already know this.. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BRog, HugoDog, Bonsai66, HappyinNM

    They're taking early voting into account.

  •  romney isn't winning election day voting . (6+ / 0-)

    It isn't election day yet so no one is winning that day yet .

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 10:48:12 AM PDT

  •  it suggests we're banking our voters early... (2+ / 0-)

    there are only so many people in each state that are going to vote for Obama.... if we get enough of them to vote early, and the Romney camp falls behind, we'll accumulate big leads in early voting and Romney will have a lead in the pool of people who can vote on election day.

    The catch:

    An early voter is a vote in the bank (county elections office?), but a voter who has to show up on election day... well, those don't always show up as often as you'd like.

    •  There's been some interesting information (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      regarding which voters are being banked. Apparently, the Obama campaign focused on sporadic voters this time. So many of those early voters may not have otherwise voted. Then comes the reliable voters, who will probably also vote early. If all that is true, how does one evaluate the difference between registered voters and likely voters?

      Note: I am a reliable voter and was not contacted by the local Obama campaign, not even once.

  •  Keen Awareness of Vote Suppression Is Most of the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GRLionsFan, Aspe4, AlyoshaKaramazov

    reason, especially among minorities who are in fact the prime targets of it.

    It's also true that students, the poor and working poor and the infirm have much more trouble voting on a one-shot Election Day than if they have many possible days and flexible hours to choose from.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 10:53:31 AM PDT

  •  They have committed voters, we have GOTV (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    el dorado gal, Miggles, Deep Texan

    Our ground game is focused on early voting where possible.  "Souls to the polls" and other group activities get people who might not vote to the polls.

    They have more traditional voters who might be more inclined to say "I'll vote on election day because that's the way I've always done it."

    I do expect them to win the "election day" vote in states with a lot of early voting, but I don't expect it to matter, because we will win.

    Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

    by Actuary4Change on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 10:55:59 AM PDT

    •  That's what my parents are doing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I suggest they go vote early last Saturday (our first day of early voting in MD). They want to wait until election day though "because that's just how we've always done it". I told them it's exactly the same as voting on election day, you just do it early, but they are determined to wait.

      •  I'm not in love with early voting (0+ / 0-)

        To me, there is something special about Election Day.  Of course I'm from CT, so I don't have a choice.

        I like the idea of the whole country doing it together.

        Of course if we eliminated early voting, we would have to fund enough polling places to make sure lines aren't too long, and move the election to a weekend.

        Personally, I like the idea of a 24 hour period with actual start and end times synchronized across the country so that all polls close at the same time.

        OTOH, anything that helps the Dems is a good thing.

        Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

        by Actuary4Change on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 11:30:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think the idea of a single "Election Day" (0+ / 0-)

          is antiquated, unless it is made a federal holiday and ALL businesses stop working for the day so every worker has the opportunity to vote, which will never happen. The more ways to vote the better. When I early voted, I stood in line for 2 hours, chatted with the people around me, argued with a woman working against Question 6 (same-sex marriage). This was the first time I've ever had to stand in line to vote. In the primaries this year, I just walked in and voted and was done (I early voted then too), and prior to that I had voted absentee.

    •  That's very true (0+ / 0-)

      Technically McCain won Ohio on Election Day in 2008. The state went to Obama, however, because the Dems banked so many votes through early voting and absentee that the net total tilted the state blue.

      Repubs vote on election day. Dems and Independents vote early. Unlike most Republican voter demographics, Dems actually have lives and things to do! We can't wait until one convenient 12 hour period put forward by the government to cast our ballot :-)

  •  because, it will take all those elderly, white, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan
    Why is Obama winning early voting and Romney winning Election Day voting?
    fundie christians a week to walk to their polling places. but once they do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! someone will have to remind them why they're there to begin with.

    sorry, low-hanging fruit. :)

  •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aspe4, Deep Texan

    Republicans ALWAYS do better on Election Day itself - since many students vote early - as do those with blue-collar or low-paying jobs which do not permit them to take time off from work on Election Day itself.

    Sadly, everything Communism said about itself was a lie. Even more sadly,, everything Communism said about Capitalism was the truth.

    by GayIthacan on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 11:00:28 AM PDT

  •  As long as you have your crystal ball out, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aspe4, Deep Texan

    can you tell me who wins the Oregon State game this weekend?  Huskers, too, if you have the time.

    Can you call yourself a real liberal if you aren't reading driftglass?

    by CJB on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 11:01:14 AM PDT

  •  any reasonable exit poll (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    would have to take into account early voting ... that said; it does make the calculus harder and probably makes the exit exit polls less reliable.

    I think the reason Obama is doing so well in early voting is that his campaign has focused on it ... it's a great strategic decision because it frees up resources for Election Day itself and decreases the odds of people not being able to vote because of long lines etc.

    but yes I agree it flies in the face of the enthusiasm gap meme.

    It's part of the reason I don't buy these very restrictive LV screens that are making the polls look better for Romney than I think reality really is.

  •  Romney is nt winning election day voting. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, TheDuckManCometh

    That is a future event and anyone saying his is winning or will win it is making a PREDICTION, mainly based on BS and the fact that Republicans know they are in trouble and will do or say anything to seem to change the reality of the situation of a likely Obama win.

    -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

    by Vayle on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 11:16:40 AM PDT

  •  It was smart for Obama to Early Vote as well. That (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, TheDuckManCometh

    is really the future of voting. Oregon and Washington have amazing vote by mail systems that I think are what more states need to do. It's incredible to have your ballot two weeks ahead of time. Fill it out. Take it to a free drop box or put it in the mail, and then check the state website the next day to see that the ballot has been received. It's a much better feeling for me than any other type of voting.

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 11:19:50 AM PDT

  •  the exit-polling question is a good one. (0+ / 0-)

    "A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and me?" - Don Van Vliet

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 11:21:17 AM PDT

  •  i voted (0+ / 0-)

    Excuse absentee here in connectcut at my town clerks office tuesday. I fillled out the absentee application form and i filled out my ovals next to all dems running on the ballot sealed the ballot in my secrecy envelope and handed it back to the town clerk.  My excuse is i will be out of town election day.  Go obama and chris murphy for senate.

  •  kos has analyzed this in several front page (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, TheDuckManCometh

    posts.  The GOP voter pool is committed, though limited.  Whether they vote today or next Tuesday, Romney will get the same number of votes in the end.  For Democratic voters it is different.  Not everyone on our side is a guaranteed vote.  Just look at the 2010 results to see how this affected Democrats who took their voters for granted.  Anyways, every early vote that we can get to the polls is a bonus for our side because it means that we can focus that much more on getting yet more voters to the polls on election day.  We have a deep well of potential voters, while Romney's well is effectively dried up.

  •  election day voting hasn't happened yet (0+ / 0-)

    so what's with your title?

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 11:49:26 AM PDT

  •  Ok people! Nothing to see here! Nothing to see! (0+ / 0-)

    Get back to work and GOTV!  Obama WILL win re-election and it IS going to happen.

    And Mitt Romney is not going to win Ohio.  Not so long as GM and Chrysler are continuing to add new jobs.

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