Republican early vote gains in Ohio are holding

In 2008, Republicans trailed Democrats by a 20-point margin on absentee ballot applications, which included voting by mail and in-person early voting. Three weeks ago, we updated you on the huge gains that Ohio Republicans have made in the early voting game. We told you that based on mail-in applications so far in 2012, that we had narrowed the gap down to 6.5 points, a huge improvement.

A liberal commenter, known for being wrong a lot, retorted that once people started voting early in person, that that gap was going to open back up to 2008 levels. His rationale was that Republicans had the edge in early voting by mail, where as Democrats held the edge in voting in person.

That theory is proven wrong in two ways. First, if you look at Cuyahoga County, the largest in the state, you will see that fully 75% of the early vote in 2008 was by mail. Since the early vote deficit there was a staggering 37 points in 2008, the notion that Republicans win the mail-in vote is preposterous, and apparently was just another lie pulled out of the air in a lame attempt to form some sort of a comeback to the bad news we reported.

Second, we are three weeks into the in-person early vote process, and the 7-point gap we reported on earlier has not changed. Check out these outstanding stats via CNN:

But Republicans have polished their early vote operation since 2008.

Four years ago, Democrats made up about 42% of the early and absentee vote while Republicans made up 22% – a dismal 20-point deficit that contributed to Sen. John McCain’s defeat in Ohio.

Through Wednesday, however, the margin has narrowed: Democrats account for 36% of the early and absentee vote while Republicans make up for 29%.

Republicans are outperforming their voter registration in several of the state’s biggest counties.

In Cuyahoga, Republicans only make up about 12% of registered voters. Ballot numbers through Tuesday of this week, however, signal that almost 22% of early voters in Cuyahoga are Republican.

That’s huge, folks. The advantage that Obama and down-ticket Democrats had in the early vote in 2008 in Ohio has almost been completely erased. And knowing how absolutely crucial Ohio is in the electoral college race, it’s no wonder that national attention is being paid to this data.

One other thing to think about here. If Ohio puts Mitt Romney over the top, there will be someone else for every Republican in America to thank for the victory, and that’s Governor John Kasich. The early voting numbers are solid proof that the new team over at the Ohio Republican Party has turned things around. Kasich was right that the ORP needed new leadership, and the incredibly improved GOP ground game is evidence that that new leadership is paying off.

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Author: Nick

I was born and raised in Ohio. After growing up in the Columbus area, I moved to Cleveland to study at Case Western Reserve University, and have lived in Northeast Ohio ever since. I live in Wellington with my wife and son. I work in the private sector and have never worked in the political field.

2 thoughts on “Republican early vote gains in Ohio are holding”

  1. This is only anecdotal but I have knocked on close to 3000 independent/undecided doors over the last 6 weeks in Hamilton county — mostly the suburbs. The results have been very encouraging. The conservative part of Hamilton county is on fire to vote FOR Romney (also against Obama but the “for” part is important). In 2004 Bush pulled a margin of 257K votes out of the 17 SW Ohio counties (Cincinnati media area?). McCain was a disaster and won the SW region by only 155K. This was not primarily because of Hamilton Co. though (Bush lost H-county by 22K and McCain by 29K) but because McCain was so lack luster that all the surrounding counties did not deliver their usual GOP margins. I am hoping that if the intensity I am seeing is an indication maybe we can 270 – 280K voter margin out of SW Ohio. I am doubting that Team Obama will be able to pull their usual 300K vote margins out of NE Ohio because Cuyahoga can’t deliver as many votes anymore. So I say it all comes done to Central Ohio and the Columbus media area? I hope the GOP is as fired up in middle Ohio there as it is here!!

  2. Actually I made an error in the post above. Bush CARRIED Hamilton county by 29K votes and the 18 SW counties by 257K votes in 2004. In contrast McCain LOST Hamilton by 22K and won SW Ohio by only 155K in 2008. One should not rely on memory when doing these posts.

    I think we should be able to top Bush’s 2004 effort in this region of Ohio. Any thoughts on what NE Ohio looks like this year? So far the dems are BEHIND 2004 in absentee ballot applications in the NE region and the repubs are AHEAD of 2004. A measure of enthusiasm?

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