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?