With early voting, how much time IS there to make up ground?

Half of the US will be able to start voting by tomorrow, according to this post in MSNBC’s First Read.

The states in question aren’t the swingiest of the swing states, so maybe it doesn’t matter that much. But given that Romney (probably) trails if the polls are to be believed at all, his time is a little shorter than just Nov. 6th. It’s interesting that voting is starting when there’s still some chance that Obama has a convention bounce going on, though I don’t think it’s really that so much that has him with his lead.

So, Democrats, are you pleased voting has started at this auspicious moment? Republicans, do you feel Romney has to get his ass in gear now, now, now, or is this nothing to worry about? Independents… um… hiya!

Given how strong and widespread the Obama campaign’s ground game is, I’d expect them to be banking as many early votes as they can right now and gaining an advantage thereby, a buffer against any surprises and a reduction in the absolute numbers they’ll be working on getting to the polls on Election Day.

From what I’ve read, it appears that the Romney campaign doesn’t have anything like the same level of ground-level organization, and in any case has been more focussed on trying to win via advertising.

I would imagine that very-early voters are the least-susceptible to being swayed one way or the other anyway. Early voting is significant in terms of turnout–translating established allegiances into banked votes–but I don’t think it matters much in terms of acquiring voters.

It’s not like early voting is a new thing to this election. Early voting is a known quantity, and by that standard “fair.” I haven’t thought about it before but early voting probably gives an advantage to the incumbent.

[Early voting legal challenges thus far seem to be struck down by most courts as attempts to disenfranchise specific voter classes. Eg, minorities that tend to vote more Democrat]

That “Half of the US” figure is really misleading. Almost all of the states on that list that will be doing only absentee voting this month. Only Vermont, Wyoming, and Iowa will be doing actual in-person, regular voting for folks who haven’t registered absentee.

I don’t like early voting, but I don’t think it’s a big factor in elections. In one respect, it’s actually good. What if some huge headline generating event happens a few days before the election that seems earthshattering and changes the outcome of the election, but really isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of things? If say a third of voters have gotten their votes in before that event, then the election is less affected by it.

On the other hand, I wonder how many people are impulsive enough to run down to the polls to cast a vote based on a single quote or news story they hear over the next few weeks. I just prefer an actual election day, with absentee ballots for those unable to vote in person.

I don’t do it because I personally like the buzz and excitement of election day myself, but I understand its value for people with pretty inflexible schedules. Of course it wouldn’t be nearly as neccesary if election day were a national holiday from work and school for most people.

I’m a partisan so my vote is pretty well locked in regardless of what happens, but a whole lot of people consider themselves ‘independent’ swing votey types, and voting early eliminates your ability to make decesions as you get more information later. I’d think that would make it less popular than it is, but what do I know?

I’d think there is some truth in the ideas that early voting helps Democrats or incumbents generally, but the one thing I know for sure is that helps whoever is in the lead when early voting starts, and in this case it’s Obama.

I think that’s a “Romney-foot-in-mouth bounce” that Obama’s riding, and it may just be added to on a daily basis…

Short of Obama walking onto a stage dressed only in Romney’s favorite pair magic underwear, I doubt very much that my vote is going to change at this point. Well… thinking about it, they’d probably have to come up with explicit video of Obama and Romney in some serious man-on-man action with a donkey somehow involved… at this point, I could over look the donkey, but not Romney.

I like early voting because it makes the polls less congested on the actual election day.