Monday, October 22, 2012

Mittmentum in Ohio is REAL

Early and absentee voting have become the thin reed to which the Obama campaign is clinging in Ohio. As Mitt Romney has seen a surge in the polls and while enthusiasm is cratering even among Barack Obama’s most fervent supporters, Democrats have pointed to strength in early and absentee voting as their secret weapon in this election. But a closer look at the numbers reveals the truth—President Obama’s early voting firewall in Ohio is an illusion.

The Obama campaign can spin, but the numbers don’t lie. Democrats traditionally have a large advantage in early and absentee voting whereas Republicans vote on Election Day. But Republicans have slashed that advantage this cycle. In 2008, 42.5 percent of early ballots were cast by Democrats, whereas only 22 percent were Republicans. This cycle, 35 percent of these ballots have been cast by Democrats, while Republicans have increased their share to 28 percent. That number will only continue to narrow. Republicans have closed the gap on Democrats’ historic absentee and early vote advantage for 14 of the past 15 days. At the same time, in many of Ohio’s biggest counties, Republican absentee voting is actually outpacing—often by large percentages—the number of registered Republicans.

What do these numbers show? The show a Republican base that is energized and excited about Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and a Democratic Party that is depressed and demoralized after four years of Barack Obama and a campaign that has offered nothing but more of the same.

No doubt Democrats will continue to point to their shrinking lead in absentee and early voting. But privately, they know that a wave is building, and it will carry Mitt Romney all the way to the White House.