Elections
              Voters line up at the Downtown West location in Knoxville, Tenn., to cast their early voting ballot on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. Early voting in Tennessee ends on Thursday with the general election occurring  on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Knoxville News Sentinel, Bruce Carillon)

Team Romney says Obama’s early-voting trends contain good news

Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

Team Obama is touting early-voting numbers to boost supporters’ morale, but Gov. Mitt Romney’s aides say they’ve got 660,000 extra base voters ready to head to the polls on Tuesday.

“A huge percentage of the [Democratic] early vote has been people who were voting regardless,” said a statement released by the Romney campaign on Saturday. That “means there are a lot more likely GOP voters available to vote on election day and help us run up our margins.”

In Ohio, for example, almost of half of the Democrats’ “high propensity” voters have voted, while the GOP’s early-voting strategy has used up only 32 percent of the Republicans’ high-propensity voters, said the statement.

High propensity voters are people who vote in both presidential and off-year congressional elections.

In nearby Iowa, “Democrats have [already] turned out over half of their voters who cast ballots in all four [elections, but] Republicans have almost twice as many very reliable voters available on Election Day than Democrats do – an advantage of more than 86,000 voters,” said the campaign memo.

Repeated across several battleground states, the Democrats’ early voting strategy has left the GOP with a margin of 660,000 extra motivated voters for Nov. 6, according to Romney’s campaign.

Democrats, however, claim the GOP won’t be able to catch their early voting advantage. Those early Democratic voters, they say, included many “sporadic voters,” or people who often fail to vote.

Among those sporadic voters, “Democratic turnout is outpacing the Republicans’ turnout in every single battleground state with party registration,” said a Saturday memo from Obama’s campaign aides.

“In Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina and Nevada, 1.4 million non-midterm Democrats have voted already, compared with just 840,000 non-midterm Republicans,” the memo said.

So far, more Democrats have voted early than have Republicans, according to a Nov. 3 poll by Reuters and Ipsos.

In Ohio, for example, an estimated 36 percent of voters have already cast ballots, with 61 percent going to Obama and 33 percent to Romney.

In Florida, 42 percent of respondents say they’ve voted, giving Obama a slight lead, 51 percent to 46 percent. In Colorado, 60 percent said they have voted, giving Obama a lead of 50 percent to 43 percent.

Follow Neil on Twitter