Early Voting: The View from the Romney Campaign and the Republicans
see also: The View from the Obama Campaign and the Democrats

BLOG POSTING from the Republican National Committee +

Early Vote Update: GOP Brings in New Voters; Democrats Taking From E-Day Voters

Posted October 25, 2012

There’s been a lot of chatter about the make-up of those going to vote early as the numbers have rolled in the past few days. Yesterday the Obama campaign issued a memo claiming without much evidence that they are reaching out to “sporadic” voters, but the actual data doesn’t back that up. (neither do the charts!)

In states where Democrats have more early votes (IA, OH, NV) they are investing significant resources in turning out “high propensity voters” – those who have voted in either 3 or 4 of the past 4 general elections.  In Ohio this is particularly stark. There are 1,005,601 registered Democrats who fit this description. 42.96% of them have already voted or requested a ballot (Blue Bar below)! There are 1,311,198 registered Republicans who have voted in at least 3 of the last 4 general elections. Only 27.27% have voted or requested a ballot (Red Bar below) 



This means there are 380,022 more Republican high propensity voters who haven’t voted early in the electorate. In contrast, Democrats are diluting their ability to perform on Election Day.

Republicans have been focused on increasing turnout among those Romney supporters who are less likely to vote and banking those votes during the early vote period.   This effort has been successful as we wrote last week. The Democratic early vote advantage in the state has dwindled every day and is far behind its pace in 2008.


MEMO from the Republican National Committee
web posted October 24, 2012


FROM: RNC Political Director Rick Wiley (@Rick_Wiley)

TO: Interested Parties 

RE: GOP Ground Game Momentum – Absentee and Early Voting

With less than two weeks until Election Day, the unprecedented GOP ground game is producing dramatic results in absentee balloting and early voting (AB/EV) that will give us a critical edge. We will continue to build on this momentum in the next thirteen days, meaning it will be increasingly difficult for Democrats to cobble together the necessary votes.

In the battleground states with available data, Republican AB/EV activity is strong. In addition to raw Republican versus Democrat turnout numbers, there are two key metrics by which we can measure this.

First, we can calculate the party’s share of AB/EV activity as compared to the party’s share of voter registration. The data show the percentage of AB/EV activity from Republicans is greater than the percentage of registered voters which are Republican, indicating higher turnout rates among registered Republicans than among registered Democrats. For example, Republicans are outperforming our share of voter registration in absentee requests and early votes by 5.6 points in Florida, 8.73 points in Ohio, and nearly 12 points in Pennsylvania.

Second, we can measure the party’s share of AB/EV activity as compared to its share in 2008. In most cases, the data show Republicans making up a larger share of early voters this year than they did four years ago. Democrats make up a smaller share, giving Republicans an important advantage. Across the eight states, Democrats are underperforming their share of 2008 AB/EV votes cast by a net 5.85 percentage points, while Republicans are over-performing their share by 2.13 points, yielding a net swing of +7.98 percentage points for Republicans.

In states without party affiliation data, we can still gauge partisan turnout by the overall AB/EV activity rate in Democrat-leaning and Republican-leaning counties as compared to 2008. In many Democrat-heavy counties activity is down from 2008, while in critical Republican-heaving counties, AB/EV activity is up.

In yet another sign of Republican strength, Gov. Romney is winning the independent vote, both on the national level and in key battlegrounds. Both the latest Quinnipiac/CBS News poll and PPP poll in Ohio show Gov. Romney winning independents by 7 points. A recent LVRJ/SurveyUSA poll gave Gov. Romney an 18-point lead with independents in Nevada.

We’re not just over-performing with our base; unaffiliated voters are breaking for us too because they recognize that only Gov. Romney offers a real plan and a positive vision for the future.

While many of the Democrat ballots cast come from high propensity voters who would vote regardless, the Republican turnout operation has been focused on getting low propensity voters who would otherwise not vote to cast ballots early. As such, turnout for the Romney-Ryan ticket on Election Day will remain as strong as expected.

Past trends in Iowa, North Carolina, and Nevada show that Republicans turn out for early voting in greater numbers as we get closer to Election Day. We’ve seen that already in Iowa and Ohio, and we are seeing the same trend develop again this year in North Carolina and Nevada, meaning the Republican advantage will grow in coming days.

Moreover, our superior ground game and organization will continue to drive Republicans to vote early right up to Election Day–thanks to the tireless work of over 119,000 volunteers who have already made 28 million voter contacts since our AB/EV turnout program began and 44.8 million contacts total since the spring.

A state-by-state analysis follows.













MEMO from Romney for President
Rich Beeson
October 15, 2012

MEMO: Who Is Early Voting And What It Means For The Presidential Campaign

Yesterday morning, a poll was released that claimed President Obama has a “big advantage” over Governor Romney among those who have already voted.  This claim can easily be proved flawed and untrue.

To begin, it is important to outline a key distinction between how the campaigns are approaching the early vote.  This can be determined not by asking “how many ballots have been cast;” instead, by asking “who has cast their ballot”?  Many of the Democratic ballots are from high propensity voters who would almost certainly be voting on Election Day – meaning that President Obama is cannibalizing his turnout on November 6th.  Governor Romney’s early voting effort has been, and will continue to be, focused on low propensity voters, which means his Election Day turnout will not be negatively impacted by the early vote program.

First and foremost, only 5% of early voting has completed.  In 2008, nearly 16,000,000 votes were cast before Election Day in the swing states.  So far this cycle, just over 950,000 votes have been cast – or 6.01%. Therefore, 94% of all early votes have not even been cast yet.  To claim a “big advantage” based off of a phase that’s just 6% complete is almost as absurd as predicting the outcome of a baseball game after the second out.

Setting timing aside, this was a national poll conducted online with a margin of error around 10%.  National polls do not capture the actual state of the race (especially as it relates to swing states) and aside from the usual hesitations with online polls, the margin of error should raise serious questions as to the poll’s accuracy.

Further examination shows just 361 people account for the entire nation’s sample of early voters.  Even worse, only 115 of the people (or 31.8%) make up the sample in the swing states.  So not only is the sample extremely small – but it’s meant to represent the votes of over 950,000 people who have already cast a ballot.

Perhaps most troubling is that, on average, less than 10 people per swing state made up the sample.  This is hardly an accurate representation of those who have already cast a ballot – and it certainly isn’t an adequate indicator of an “advantage” for one candidate over another.  The largest sample for a swing state was Florida at just 22 people.  And in the states of New Hampshire and New Mexico, just two people were surveyed.  In Colorado, a state where approximately 79% of every vote cast in 2008 came before Election Day, the poll only surveyed four people – but what should baffle observers here is that early voting has not even begun for the general population yet (only military).

Despite what this poll has claimed, it is clear that Governor Romney is poised to over-perform among those who will vote before Election Day.  In swing states that have party registration, ballots cast belonging to registered Democrats only hold a 6% margin over those cast by registered Republicans.  Furthermore, of the approximate 6.7 million voters in those states who have requested ballots, but have yet to return them, Republicans narrowly edge Democrats (GOP:  2.12 million, DEM: 2.02).

Although still early in the process, our campaign continues to be encouraged by the initial requests and returns we have seen.  That, coupled with the Governor’s momentum and his advantage among enthusiastic voters, undeniably puts President Obama in an extremely compromising situation with just over three weeks remaining in the election.

Rich Beeson is the Political Director for Romney for President, Inc.