Today is the last day for early voting in person in Ohio and Iowa. Vote-by-mail ballots are still coming in, but deadlines are ending. As we mark the end of 2012 early voting and get ready for the final day of voting tomorrow—Election Day—let’s take one last look at where things stand with early vote numbers.
Our historic early vote turnout has put President Obama in a strong position to win tomorrow and continue to move the country forward for another four years.
How do we know? First, according to the latest polls, we are winning among early voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Nearly all of these leads are in double digits. This matches the enthusiasm we’re seeing at polling places and out in the field.
Second, newly registered voters, infrequent voters, and those who voted for the first time in 2008—let’s call them “sporadic voters”—have taken advantage of the convenience of early vote, and the overwhelming majority of them are Democrats.
Third, it’s clear that our winning coalition of supporters is enthusiastic and showing up to vote in huge numbers. We’ve seen more African Americans and Latinos vote early, two groups that overwhelmingly support the President. Compared to the same point in 2008, the number of African Americans and Latinos who have voted early has increased in Florida, Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, Nevada, and Ohio. And more than two-thirds of those who have already voted in the battlegrounds are women, youth, African Americans, or Latinos. Since 2008, there has been tremendous growth in voter registration among African Americans and Latinos, and we’ll continue to see them turn out in high numbers tomorrow.
That turnout is what today and tomorrow are all about. After a massive volunteer weekend, folks in the states are reporting huge numbers of GOTV shifts for today and tomorrow to keep our early vote momentum going into Election Day. A shift entails a volunteer committing to three hours of knocking doors or making calls to make sure our supporters—especially sporadic voters—have all the information they need to vote and a plan to do so. Volunteers from other states are also helping by making calls into the battlegrounds, and thousands are using our call tool to make sure voters across the country make it to the polls.
Here’s a look at our ground game for the final 48 hours:
Colorado: Volunteers have scheduled 5,213 individual shifts today and have 8,869 scheduled for tomorrow—a total of more than 14,000 GOTV shifts in the final stretch.
Florida: Volunteers have scheduled 16,191 individual shifts today and have 26,055 scheduled for tomorrow—a total of more than 42,200 GOTV shifts in the final stretch.
Iowa: Volunteers have scheduled 10,609 individual shifts today and have 11,021 scheduled for tomorrow—a total of more than 21,600 GOTV shifts in the final stretch.
Michigan: Volunteers have scheduled 4,563 individual shifts today and have 5,317 scheduled for tomorrow—a total of more than 9,800 GOTV shifts in the final stretch.
North Carolina: Volunteers have scheduled 8,256 individual shifts today and have 11,793 scheduled for tomorrow—a total of more than 20,000 GOTV shifts in the final stretch.
New Hampshire: Volunteers have scheduled 2,969 individual shifts today and have 4,602 scheduled for tomorrow—a total of more than 7,500 GOTV shifts in the final stretch.
Nevada: Volunteers have scheduled 1,213 individual shifts today and have 1,621 scheduled for tomorrow—a total of more than 2,800 GOTV shifts in the final stretch.
Ohio: Volunteers have scheduled 17,566 individual shifts today and have 32,854 scheduled for tomorrow—a total of more than 50,400 GOTV shifts in the final stretch.
Pennsylvania: Volunteers have scheduled 30,280 individual shifts today and have 37,266 scheduled for tomorrow—a total of more than 67,500 GOTV shifts in the final stretch.
Virginia: Volunteers have scheduled 19,887 individual shifts today and have 29,960 scheduled for tomorrow—a total of more than 49,800 GOTV shifts in the final stretch.
Wisconsin: Volunteers have scheduled 15,238 individual shifts today and have 11,574 scheduled for tomorrow—a total of more than 26,800 GOTV shifts in the final stretch.
The Romney campaign claims that it will erase our early vote margins on Election Day. It’s true that many of our supporters turned out early, and in some places we may see the margins naturally tighten on Election Day, but there’s a problem with Romney’s theory: In key battleground states, thanks in large part to our massive voter registration advantages, there are still more Obama-leaning voters left to vote on Election Day. And now, with a significant number of voters already having voted, those supporters can help us run an Election Day get-out-the-vote operation that will ensure that we replicate our large early-vote turnout tomorrow.
Early voting, which draws to a close today, has proven that when you give people more and better opportunities to make their voices heard, they’ll use them. We’ve run a grassroots organizing campaign and turnout operation unlike any American politics has ever seen, built on the premise that the more people who vote, the better.
While the Republicans might have saved the lion’s share of their turnout for Election Day, we’re confident a big showing on one day can’t match the votes we’ve banked over the last month, and the work we’ve done over the last five years.