CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Election Day isn’t until Nov. 6, which gives Democrats and Republicans three more monthly jobs reports to anticipate, right?
Not exactly. Although job numbers for August, September and October will be released before Election Day, August’s jobs report, which comes out Friday, is the last one before general election voting begins, thanks to early voting.
Between Friday’s jobs report and September’s, which comes out Oct. 5, several key swing states, including Iowa, Ohio and Virginia, will have already started to vote through early and in-person absentee ballots. And while historically speaking, the majority of votes are not cast early in these states, a sizable percentage (although less than half) of the voting population still gets to the polls before Election Day. In 2008, 30 percent of the total votes cast in Ohio came in early. In Iowa, it was 36 percent, and in Virginia, 14 percent.
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By the time October’s jobs report is released Nov. 2, much of the vote could have already been cast in additional swing states, such as Colorado, Florida, Wisconsin and North Carolina, where President Obama will accept his party’s nomination tonight.
With polling showing Romney and Obama in a virtual dead heat, these early votes in key swing states could make a difference.