Who is really winning the early vote in Ohio, the state that may decide the 2012 election?
The Obama campaign seemingly has an overall numerical advantage, but the county-level data shows that Mitt Romney may have the real advantage.
How is this possible? The Romney campaign claims that their early voting efforts add new votes, from individuals who might not otherwise have voted while the president’s campaign is simply banking votes he had already secured. Can this claim be verified?
Using publically available data, AEI’s Henry Olsen notes that if the Romney campaign’s effort is working, the share of the 2008 early vote total already cast this cycle should be higher in strong Romney counties than in strong Obama counties. The data shows the Romney campaign’s theory to be correct.
Henry Olsen is a vice president and the director of the National Research Initiative at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).
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