I was all set to go to bed when I started thinking about this quote in Politico about Ohio’s early voting that I mentioned in my last post:

Ballots have been requested by 839,390 Ohio voters thus far, with Democrats comprising about 40 percent to the GOP’s 30 percent, and the rest unaffiliated voters.

And it was eating at me.  Where have I seen that kind of partisan breakdown in Ohio before???  And then I remembered this graphic:image

That was the partisan breakdown of Ohio’s electorate in a 2008 CNN exit poll.

If that trends holds for the general election population (or is sufficiently similar)…. yeah, it means that with the exception of Independents being more pro-GOP than they were two years ago (now closer to being split), we’re seeing an Early Vote turnout that mirrors the Democratic victory in 2008.

But, Modern, you ask, what about that change in Independents?  Let’s assume, as almost all the recent polling has shown, that both Strickland and Kasich equally keep members of their party in their column (i.e. neither candidate has more crossover appeal than the other.)  Again, this is not an unreasonable assumption.  Let’s even spot Kasich a twenty-point lead with Independents (which a month ago wouldn’t be unreasonable, but lately polls like Rasmussen and others like the recent CNN/Time poll put that lead in the single digits.  Only Quinnipiac has recently given Kasich as generous as an advantage with Independents as I’m giving him here in this simulation.)

Here’s what the electorate would look like if the early vote pattern essentially holds through Election Day:

  Ted Strickland John Kasich
Democrats (40%) 90% 10%
Republicans (30%) 10% 90%
Independents (30%) 40% 60%

So what would be the result of this kind of electorate?

Ted Strickland is re-elected with 51% of the vote. 

 That’s how big of a deal this early vote story can be

Remember the most recently Ohio Poll had self-identified Republicans making up 49% of its weighed sample?  And Kasich only lead in it by eight points?  The Ohio Poll is off by 19% of the total population in the early vote in overestimating the GOP’s portion of the turnout.  Dial that down to what we’re seeing reportedly in the early vote and it turns into the same Strickland lead I showed before (assuming that all undecided Democrats essentially break to Strickland and all other undecided break to Kasich, which, again, is a pretty generous spot for Kasich.)

The early vote could constitute anywhere between 20% to 30% of the total election night vote (my lazy guess is just under 25%, which is still substantially higher than 2006, but just under the rate we saw in 2008.) 

With President Obama and former President Bill Clinton coming into Ohio for the final days of the campaign, can we get Election Day turnout that keeps the Republicans from overcoming our Early Vote advantage?


  • Delco

    Modern- just when my spirits are sagging from reading that Dispatch rag, once again I come to Plunderbund for my heroin fix of “yes we can”. Keep ’em coming.

  • Anonymous

    Look, all I’ve pointed out is that there is now hard data which suggests the prevailing media narrative this cycle doesn’t seem to be bearing out in the early vote. We still have a lot of work to do, but I’m getting more bullish on this as I watch these early votes roll in.

  • Dave

    Modern, try comparing October 2010 early vote share to 2008 early vote totals. Are the Democrats overperforming, underperforming or maintaining what they were doing in mid-October, 2008?

    That’s what I’d be interested in. Also somewhat suspicious that the numbers are coming from the ODP, but since the ORP is not releasing theirs, let’s take it as data.

  • Anonymous


    As I’ve said in response to Kasich’s astroturfing blogger from VA, you really can’t compare 2008 to this cycle. I just don’t think it’s reasonable to compare turnout in a Presidential election to a midterm. That’s why I’ve mostly stuck to 2008.

    I doubt ORP even knows. That’s why they aren’t sharing the “data,” which isn’t even propriety.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention The early voting post Kasich/Taylor & the Ohio GOP hope the media doesn’t read. -- Topsy.com()

  • Dave

    But you compared the 2008 final partisan share to this cycle…did you not? so is it ok or not ok to compare 2008? All I’m saying if we are going to compare, lets compare apples to apples. And that comparison might be favorable to Strickland, after all. I think it would just tell us more useful info, if hard data is what you are after.

    And I do think this one is going to be very close.

  • Anonymous

    Comparing partisan composition from one cycle to another is different from comparing turnout. And my point in citing the 2008 numbers was to note HOW REMARKABLE it was to see such similar turnout for Democrats in a midterm.

    The early vote so far is showing that we are seeing a significant Democratic advantage that Kasich is going to have to overcome with independents and election day voters in order to win.

    I think this race is tight, but I’m becoming convinced that Strickland is starting to pull away with it.

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!