Is Obama Or Romney Winning The Early Vote?

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Four years ago, Obama won the state overall by three percentage points, buoyed by an eight-point advantage in early voting (60 percent of which was conducted in person).

The GOP-controlled state government has reduced the amount of time allotted to early in-person voting, but Democrats appear to have encouraged more of their supporters to vote by mail this time around.

And McDonald said Democrats are also taking advantage of a provision called the "counter vote," in which voters can request a mail-in ballot in person and fill it out on the spot. It looks almost identical to an in-person vote, but it counts as an absentee mail vote under Florida law.

But with in-person voting not yet underway, we won't have a truly accurate picture of the early vote in Florida until in-person voting begins. But the numbers indicate that the race for Florida will be extremely close as they were in 2008.

COLORADO:

In-person early voting began on Monday in Colorado, while absentee voting started ten days ago. Republicans have a slight lead of around 5,500 in ballots cast. That amounts to a 1.7 percentage-point lead. In 2008, when Obama won Colorado, he had a 1.8 percentage-point lead in the early vote when the final tally was made.

Republicans claimed in a memo this week they have the advantage, with a lead of 10,000 in overall votes cast plus absentee ballots requested. But it's still too early to tell who might come out on top. In 2008, 1.7 million voters cast their ballot early and as of Wednesday, only 326,000 had done so. And a large portion of Colorado voters are unaffiliated with either party, so it's almost impossible to tell how they voted.

So again, with Colorado looking close in the polls, it could come down to a photo finish. And the early vote will be critical in deciphering who will win the state, since about seven in ten Coloradans voted before Election Day in 2008, when Obama won by a whopping nine points.

"We've got less data coming out of Colorado, but the early indications are that Colorado is going to be a close state," said McDonald. "I would call it a toss-up."

NEVADA:

Democrats are performing well in early voting in the Silver State. Overall, Democrats lead Republicans by more than 9 percentage points with the vast majority of votes (81 percent) coming through early in-person voting.

In the state's biggest jurisdiction, Clark County (anchored by Las Vegas), Democrats have built up a huge 20 percentage-point lead via in-person voting. And in Washoe County, a critical battleground that includes Reno, Democrats lead in-person voting by four percentage points.

When factoring in mail ballots, Democrats lead by 30,000 votes out of 180,000 cast in Clark County, according to Nevada political reporter Jon Ralston, who estimates that a quarter of all people there have already cast ballots.

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