Early voting has started in some states--who benefits?

Early voting is going to be a Big Deal this election.

This isn’t just about the presidential race, but about all races that are open to early voting. Some states have their polls open now. Does that benefit one side more than the other?

Obviously, Obama is riding high on a stock-drop bubble, so that would appear to favor him. On the other hand, some pundits think that he will maintain or increase his lead, which means early voting isn’t necessarily great. And in some of the swing states, now doesn’t look like the best time.

Congressional dems don’t seem to have made as much hay from the economic worries. Maybe they would given more time? Maybe this is as high as it gets?

On the other other hand, perhaps it’s only the most partisan who are voting this early anyway, so the next few weeks don’t matter.

Obama seems to be the leader in many states with ground game, but does this preempt the ground game?

States with voting currently underway or starting before the first debate with the polling leader in ():

Virginia (swing)
Kentucky (McCain)
Georgia (McCain)
Florida (swing)
Michigan (swing?)
DC (Obama)

(I know that Ohio starts 9/30. If others have data about their states, holler.)

(1) I would guess that more partisan voters are more likely to vote early, and that favours neither side.

(2) I would guess that Republicans and more likely to vote early than Democrats, which might favour McCain/Palin if a late-breaking scandal turns their supporters off them – though if that happened, Obama/Biden would win comfortably regardless of the early votes.

Nevada (swing) October 18: http://sos.state.nv.us/elections/voter/earlyvoting/

Early voting in Nevada begins on October 18th, but there is a bit of glitch as the last day of early voting (traditionally the biggest day of early voting) is October 31st. Many counties don’t want to work that day - not because it is Halloween, but because it also happens to be “Nevada Day” - meaning state employees have a paid day off and they don’t want to be stuck working at the polls that day…we’ll see what happens.

As to who benefits?

I think it is going to help Democrats here. The reason is that they did a fantastic job of getting tons of new voters to register, and actually vote, during the Primaries. The number of Dems voting in the Primaries here was easily double, if not more, than the number of Pubbies voting during their Primary.

The problem has always been to get newly registered voters off their asses and vote again for the General Election. However, if they have two weeks to vote, and many of the places you can vote are at large shopping malls, I think it is going to help bring those numbers up. During the last early voting, I saw small gaggles of 20 somethings saunter over to the polling booth on their way from The Gap to the food court.

Plus, a nationwide poll on MSNBC yesterday once again brought up the point that Democrats are far more enthusiastic about voting than Republicans. I can only imagine Dems are biting at the bit to charge the polling booths and vote for Obama. Based solely upon that, I think if you counted the votes here by October 30th, Obama would have a huge lead.

And lastly, Nevada had over 50% of all votes cast done in early voting in the last General Election! So, with my theory of Obama having a comfortable lead by October 30th, and a far more enthusiastic voting bloc, I would have to go with Obama getting the advantage to early voting this year - at least in Nevada.

The Obama people told me about early voting when they came to my door, and I got a phone call from them a month or two ago. They obviously think it can only help. I haven’t heard a peep from McCain supporters in any form, and I’m a registered nonpartisan. If early voting benefits anyone here, I agree that it will be Obama.

Yeah, we’re pushing early voting. We see it as putting something away in a vault. It’s there, counted, and safe.

Republicans filed suit in Ohio to overturn a law that allowed voters to register and vote at the same time for one week starting tomorrow. The Ohio Supreme Court decided today to uphold that law.

So, the Republicans in Ohio think this form of early voting at least is a bad one for them.

Early voting overwhelmingly favors the Democrats because their constituency is lower on the food chain.
It’s not a matter of who votes early; it’s a matter of how many more votes you’ll get for your side by having early voting.

It may well be that a large number of middle/upper middle class Republicans vote early. They would have voted anyway. It’s getting the guy who would otherwise miss Election Day–who can’t take the day off work or the college enthusiast who just can’t get out of bed that one day–etc etc.

In many Republican circles it’s seen as a Democrat scam to make sure the riff raff can have their asses carted to the polls.