Our campaign is about inclusiveness, and we’ve always been focused on bringing new people into the process. As our supporters vote early in huge numbers around the country, we have the perfect example: We’re turning out voters who have been traditionally less likely to participate, sometimes called “sporadic” voters.
A common misconception about early vote is that both parties have a set number of voters, and all early vote does is let some of them cast their ballots before Election Day. That’s simply not true. What early vote does is help us mobilize sporadic voters by giving them more time and more convenient ways to make their voices heard. It also broadens the universe of voters and frees up more of our get-out-the-vote resources later, especially on Election Day. When you look inside the numbers so far, among sporadic voters it’s not even close.
More sporadic Obama voters are voting than sporadic Republicans in the battleground states. Along with the more than 20,000 people who came out to see the President yesterday in Ohio and Florida after he dominated the final debate, these trends are a sign both of enthusiasm for President Obama and our organizational strength.
Here are some numbers illustrating the progress we’re making:
Non-midtermvoters: Across nine battleground states, Democrats have a 19.7 point advantage in ballots cast among non-midterm voters. More than half (51.5 percent) of non-midterm voters who have voted already are Democrats, while fewer than a third (just 31.8 percent) are Republicans.
For example, in North Carolina, 51.5 percent of those who have already voted are Democrats, compared with just 25.1 percent who are Republicans. That’s a major advantage. And among these non-midterm voters who have voted in North Carolina so far, 87 percent of them are youth (under 35), African-American, Latino, or new registrants (registered after the 2008 election).
All voters: Among all voters, Democrats have a 10.7 point advantage over Republicans. Just under half (49.6 percent) of voters who have cast ballots are Democrats, while just 38.9 percent are Republicans. In the only two states—Colorado and Florida—where Republicans lead right now in total ballots cast, Democrats are cutting into traditional Republican leads there; we’re doing better today than at this point in 2008. And once in-person early voting is included (it just started in Colorado on Monday and starts in Florida this weekend), Democrats will take the lead.
The plan we’ve been building from the beginning is modeled exactly for this—to broaden the electorate, and make sure as many Americans as possible have a chance to take part in this historic election. That’s why we’ve spent years building neighborhood teams that are stronger than last-minute, turnkey phone bank operations. Our volunteer leaders will be getting the people in their precincts to the polls because they’ve registered them, called them, went to their doors—because they know them.
Overall, we’re winning early vote in the battleground states that will decide this election—a key part of our plan to get to 270 electoral votes. We’re outperforming our early vote margins in key states compared to 2008, and we’re ahead of where we were against John McCain—and most importantly, ahead of Mitt Romney.
You can’t fake a real ground game, and you can’t underestimate early vote. When more people get to vote, it’s a good thing.