The early voting in the Obama counties is down more than 298,000 versus 2009. It’s down more than 61,000 in the McCain counties. Subtract the Romney counties, and it’s a net drop of 235,000 in early voting in the Obama counties. Obama won Ohio by just more than 262,000 votes in 2008.
Now, before Romney supporters get too excited, this comes with some very big caveats.
First, a few counties on both sides, like Mercer and Sandusky, are missing from the data. Suffice to say we don’t have a complete picture.
Second, much of the data is 2-4 days old. I expect the Obama campaign to make up some of the difference between then and the close of Monday. That said, it’s doubtful it will make up a deficit of a few hundred thousand voters in that time.
Third, and most important, these are just county vote totals. They aren’t broken down by party. Even the counties that voted heaviest for Obama last time had a substantial percentage vote for McCain. The drop of 298,000 no doubt includes some Republicans. Nevertheless, it is telling that the counties that voted for Obama are off their 2008 early voting numbers by such a large amount. That probably isn’t good news for the Obama campaign.