Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Game's Still On in Ohio

The Columbus Dispatch summarized the 4,134 absentee ballots that were cast this week in Franklin County.

The early voters clearly favor Obama but there are two things of note. The first is the 668 voters who registered the same day they voted. It looks like we can expect these voters to total a couple thousand across the state by the time this period closes on Monday but probably less than 10,000.

The second was an almost throwaway line which initially may seem as bad news for McCain.
More than 80 percent of those who cast ballots and also voted in the March 4 primary were registered Democrats.
What makes this interesting however is that fact that you do not have to declare a party affiliation in Ohio when you register. In fact, half of Ohioans do not declare a party affiliation and only 31% are registered Democrats. In Ohio, only the strongest Democrats and Republicans register as such, the rest are undeclared.

Its clear it's these strongest Democrats who are voting early. These aren't Bush voters Obama is winning over or even fence sitters who McCain had a chance to win over. These are Obama's strongest supporters who he could always count on. He was always going to get these votes, be it on October 4th or November 4th.

There may still be a great groundswell toward Obama, but these results indicate that it hasn't happened yet. Not at the only place that counts at least: the ballot box.