By Edwin Nwachukwu
Nov. 4 (PREMIUM TIMES) — President Barack Obama is leading the Republican candidate Mitt Romney in early voters in key states that could decide the U.S. election coming up in three days.
Reports of early voters monitored by the North America Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday, indicate that Obama’s margin is not as wide as the one he had in 2008 against Republican John McCain.
It said that about 25 million people have already voted in 34 states and the District of Columbia.
The reports indicated that no votes would be counted until Election Day but that several battleground states are releasing the party affiliation of people who have voted early.
It revealed that Democratic voters outnumber Republicans in Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio, five states that could decide the election, if they vote the same way.
The reports noted that Republicans have the edge in Colorado, which Obama won in 2008.
It said that about 35 per cent of voters are expected to cast ballots before Tuesday, either by mail or physically.
According to the reports, voters can always cross party lines when they vote for any office, and that there are enough independent voters in many states to swing the election, if enough of them vote the same way.
“Still, both campaigns are following the early voting numbers closely, using them to gauge their progress and plan their Election Day strategies,” the reports said.
It noted that a look at early voting in the tightest states such as Colorado, about 1.5 million people have voted, and Republicans outnumber Democrats by 37 per cent to 35 per cent.
“Those numbers are a reversal from four years ago at this time. Inevitably, Obama won the early vote by 9 percentage points in 2008, giving him a big enough cushion to win the state, despite narrowly losing the Election Day vote.
“Early voting in Colorado is expected to account for about 80 per cent of all votes cast, giving it more weight than in other states,’’ the early voters reports said.
On Florida, the report disclosed that about 3.5 million people have voted, 43 per cent of whom were Democrats and 40 per cent were Republicans.
It added that four years ago, Democratic early voters had a 9 percentage point lead over republicans.
“Obama won Florida’s early vote by 10 percentage points in 2008, getting 400,000 more early votes than McCain, enough to offset McCain’s advantage on Election Day.
“In Florida, Republicans have historically done better among people who vote by mail, while Democrats have done better among people who vote early in person.
“For 2012, Florida’s Republican-led Legislature reduced the number of in-person early voting days from 14 to eight,’’ the reports added.
It said that the Obama campaign responded by encouraging more supporters to vote by mail, and that Democrats were able to narrow the gap among mail ballots.
The early voters report also said that the Democrats quickly took the lead among all early voters, once in-person early voting started, stressing that the margins are slim.
It added that the Obama campaign acknowledged it must do better among Florida’s Election Day voters than Obama did on 2008, when McCain won the Election Day vote by 5 percentage points.