Is Romney in Trouble? Early Voting Results in Swing States

Early voting is a wrap, and the results indicate more Democrats than Republicans turned out in the days leading up the election. While the early results appear to favor President Barack Obama, supporters of Mitt Romney say the turnout numbers in key states bode well for the Republican challenger.

Romney appears to trail after early voting but is hoping for a big turnout on election day. Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

Obama Leads in Swing States; Turnout Lags

According to data compiled by the United States Election Project, run by researchers at George Mason University, more than 30 million ballots have been cast in the states and jurisdictions allowing early voting in 2012.

Although the votes won’t be tallied until the end of Tuesday, tracking based upon party designation indicates Democrats in swing states headed to the polls in greater numbers than Republicans. However, those numbers lag behind 2008 turnout.

For example, in Florida, where conservative Governor Rick Scott created a firestorm of controversy by approving a reduction in early voting days from 14 in 2008 to 8 this year, early voting was down 9.4 percent compared to four years ago.

Paul Flemming, policy and politics editor for the Tallahassee Democrat, notes that 246,000 more Democrats turned out for early voting than Republicans.

The Florida results indicate a good news/bad news scenario for the Romney camp. Although Democrats outnumber Republicans in early voting, Romney supporters point to the lower overall early turnout as troublesome for Obama.

However, in Flemming’s analysis, he also points out Democrats have a somewhat surprising lead in absentee ballots as well. Returned absentee ballots are up 8.7 percent from 2008, and Democrats have sent back 87,000 more than Republicans.

Is the early vote turnout indicative of the 2012 election as a whole? Image by Bastique

Early Voting Results in Swing States

With the final Gallup Poll for this election season showing Romney and Obama in a statistical tie, early voting takes on new importance, particularly in swing states such as Florida and Ohio.

According to data compiled by the United States Election Project and the Associated Press, early voting breaks down by the following percentages in selected states:


  • Democrat – 34.6 percent
  • Republican – 36.6 percent


  • Democrat – 42.9 percent
  • Republican – 39.1 percent


  • Democrat – 43.9 percent
  • Republican – 37 percent


  • Democrat – 29 percent
  • Republican – 23 percent


  • Democrat – 42 percent
  • Republican – 46.9 percent

With the exception of Ohio, the breakdown above is based upon an individual’s registered party affiliation. However, Ohio does not require an individual to declare a party, so the numbers are based upon a voter’s last party primary.

Election 2012: Both Campaigns Confident

Early voting may be complete, but there remains little consensus on the correct interpretation of the  results. Democrats are emboldened by the lead they apparently hold in swing states such as Florida and Ohio. However, Republicans see hope in the fact that fewer Democrats went to the polls early as compared to four years ago.

For now, both parties and pundits speculate on the trends, but the results of those early votes – available after the Tuesday polls close – will tell the true story.


Flemming, P. Florida early voting, absentee ballots down from 2008. (2012). Accessed November 5, 2012.

National Conference of State Legislature. Absentee and Early Voting. (2012). Accessed November 5, 2012.

Gallup. Romney 49%, Obama 48% in Gallup’s Final Election Survey. (2012). Accessed November 5, 2012.

United States Election Project. 2012 Early Voting Statistics. (2012). Accessed November 5, 2012.

Associated Press. Early Voting Results: 2012. (2012). Accessed November 5, 2012.

© Copyright 2012 Maryalene LaPonsie, All rights Reserved. Written For: Decoded Science
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  1. Wolverine says

    Krauthamer is getting more irrelevant as he speaks. I guess he loses more if the liberals and conservatives of this country move forward for a common goal. We must reconcile and move on forward.

  2. Larry says

    What is so sad and even more sad than President Obama getting anotheer term in office. When a candidate wins the Nations Popular Vote and loses the election. It is time to SCRAP the electoral college and let the Majority win become the next President. We have had two elections where folks have lost becasue of the Elelctoral College. Now both parties need to through caution to the wind and vote bills and law that are needed to benefit the entire nation. The parties have to work together to keep this nation from going broke and if they don’t then maybe we need to recall some of those legislaturers.

  3. Larry says

    Another four years of Obama will turn this county over to the Illegals and Muslims and we will be BROKE. hE WILL ruin this Great Nation of ours. Heaven help him if me makes any mistakes becuase people will be watching and if he does he comes IMPEACHMENT.

  4. Wolverine says

    The election is not officially over yet but most have conceded the election to the incumbent and already this character Carl Rove is already spewing negativity on Fox TV. He has no political conviction but has a lot of monetary interest in this election. He is poison and should be ignored much less put on TV to spread hate. Enough, uphold the constitutional process and work with the winner with sole focus on the country moving forward. Enough of big money in politics.

  5. Tom Kauffman says

    I find it disturbing how the media and the sheep voters that follow the media support Obama. Talk about the worst most unqualified president we have ever had. I look at the type of person that votes for Obama and wonder when they are going to contribute something to our society. My wife and I are products of European immigrants; no government ever gave them anything. What rights do the democrats have to import immigrants from third world hell holes and loan them money to open the next “Terrorist Mart” just so they can buy their votes. I hope all of you mark this date on your calendars and we can have this conversation in four more years. By the way I think I would not put anymore money in my 401 K unless you can invest it in China. God help us all we have made a serious mistake.

  6. Daniel Roberts says

    I stopped voting . Its all a farce . 4 years ago I voted for McCain the machine siad i voted for Obama i called the election officials on to the computer they tinkered with it and then siad they had it fixed , so I checked at the Hinds County Circuit Court and Mrs. Barbra Dunn siad she knew nothing about it . Then I called a freind of mine inb the Circut court and he told me there had been no repairs to any of the machines in Jackson , Mississippi

  7. Mike says

    Voted for Obama last time but can’t do it this time. Bush put us in a bad hole charging two wars on credit cards from China but those wars are almost over and we can’t continue to borrow our way out of debt. Obama inherited 10 trillion in debt but his successor will inherit 20 trillion. Some tough decisions will have to be made on entitlements and Obama will not make them.

  8. Chris says

    We need to give more and more money to the people who create jobs. If the government cuts all their taxes and we (the middle class) pay down the deficit, they will have enough money to hire people. Right now they don’t have enough money so they need more. Then we need a strong defense so other countries don’t take our money because we’ll have so much. Vote for Mitt !

  9. Danram says

    Romney is in very good shape right now. Obama’s early voting turnout is running well behind the levels of 2008 while Republican voter registration is up significantly. Republicans always significantly outperform Democrats on election day itself, so building up a big lead in the early voting numbers is critical if the Democrats hope to eek out a win in 2012. The available evidence doesn’t seem to support that scenario. Instead, it seems as though Romney and the Republicans have significantly cut into that early voting advantage, meanjng that Romney will win both Florida and the general election..

  10. JebBushLezCHeney2016 says

    Join Mitt and our Tea Party Patriots to DEMAND additonal tax cuts for the Job Creator class – not the lazy poor and “entitled” middle class!

  11. Stacy says

    There has been no hope and only negative “change” since Obama won the last election. This is the country’s last chance to insure a democracy and prevent a socialistic government. I have full faith in the American people that they will elect Romney and preserve our nation.

  12. John Townsend says

    One more days and we can stop having to listen to this pandering grinning lying &&& who never worked an honest day in his life and ran away to France instead of going to Vietnam after protesting in favor of the war. I never thought I would live to see a politician more repugnant than Nixon. Romney turns my stomach

  13. John Townsend says

    Romney has already lost the election. There is literally no electoral path for him to reach 270 at this point – he would literally have to win 7 out of 8 swing states, and that just isn’t going to happen.

  14. Jonathan Saunders says

    Definitely desperate. Whether Mitt Romney won or not the GOP was and is going to implode anyway. Any individual or group who bases their policy on hate and division, preventing the right to vote as opposed to celebrating the right to vote, or limiting the rights of social minorities or opportunities for economic success for its citizens, is bound for failure. There is simply no way that in a world like today people will look at that type of platform and say “Yes, I will choose to vote for racist/homophobic/anti-woman leaders, profound economic disparity and tax contradiction, as well as increased funding for wars and military, which the military has not asked for, and even though we have already lost so many American lives.” Of course it is bound for failure. The other tragic thing is that the GOP is a terrible disservice to the Republicans out there who are not racist/homophobic/anti-woman, or, supportive of increased war funding. It promotes this awful stereotype that helps no one and really just holds everyone back.

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