When it comes to Early Voting, everything is relative.
Early voting began in Ohio in 2006, but neither Party really knew how to utilize it.
2008 was the first year each Party organization had an operation designed to turn out the early vote.
And it’s the one cycle where we can truly gauge how each Party is doing in getting out the vote. This isn’t done by vote totals, but by percentages. If Republicans are turning out at a higher rate relative to 2008, it’s good news. If Democrats are turning out at a lower rate relative to 2008, that’s good news too.
Now remember, the President didn’t win Ohio by any massive amount. The margin was only 4%. So this year it’s essential for Democrats that their portion of the early voting turnout be relatively equal or just slightly worse, as a percentage, as 2008.
But it’s not.
From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
In Cuyahoga, Franklin and Hamilton counties — home to 30 percent of Ohio’s voting populace — Republicans account for a larger share of the early voters than they did in 2008.
With a week until Election Day, the numbers of Republican absentee ballots cast in Cuyahoga and Hamilton counties are close to surpassing the numbers from 2008, a presidential year with generally a higher turnout.
And in Franklin County, absentee ballots cast are running pretty close to even between voters of the major parties —29,419 for Democrats to 28,506 for Republicans — after running more than 2-to-1 for Democrats in 2008.
In the state’s largest three counties combined, Republicans have cast about 40 percent of the partisan absentee ballots compared to only 26 percent in 2008.
Remember what I said, Democrats need to do the same or just slightly worse?
Well, this is a lot worse.
And lest we forget, all three of these counties are Democratic bastions with no less than a 24 point registration advantage in each that Strickland is relying on for massive levels of support. Well, it’s not happening.
Democrats have explanations, but local Republicans have grins on their faces as they see GOP absentee ballots close to surging past 2008 levels in Cuyahoga County while Democrats have barely hit the halfway mark.
And our Cuyahoga GOP Chairman finishes the good news off with a punch.
“My view is that (Democratic Party) Chairman (Chris) Redfern is whistling past the graveyard,” said Cuyahoga County Republican Party Chairman Rob Frost. “He’s trying to keep his base motivated by telling them other Democrats are turning out. He’s saying they are voting in numbers that they really are not voting in.”
Victory is seven days away.
Be the Wave.