One day before Election Day, more than 29.9 million Americans have already cast their ballots, and based on the available data, Democrats appear to have an edge in some key states.
It's impossible to say whether President Obama or Mitt Romney has collected more votes so far, since states don't tally votes until Election Day. Some states, however, report turnout by party affiliation. Of the five battleground states that report on partisan turnout, Democrats are leading in four, while Republicans are leading in one, according to data compiled by George Mason University's United States Elections Project.
Early voting has become an increasingly significant part of presidential elections. In 2008, when Mr. Obama decisively won a number of swing states, some polling experts said theybecause of early voting results. According to the George Mason project, 30.8 percent of all votes in 2008 were cast early.
This year, the race is closer, and Republicans argue that their strength lies in Election Day turnout, rather than early voting. "We are poised to blow the Obama campaign out on Election Day," Rick Wiley, political director for the Republican National Committee, said in a memo today. "When you add it all up, the Democrats' early vote advantage just isn't big enough."
Colorado: So far, Republicans can claim an edge in when it comes to turnout in at least one battleground: Colorado. As of Saturday, more than 1.6 million early ballots had been returned in Colorado, the Colorado Secretary of State's office reported, with nearly 37 percent belonging to registered Republicans and more than 34 percent coming from Democrats. Another 28.5 percent came from voters affiliated with neither major party. As many as 80 percent of Colorado voters are expected to cast their ballots early, according to CBS News estimates.
Florida: Republicans, however, have lost the lead in early voting they held reported. More than 42 percent of those voters were Democrat, while 39.5 percent were Republican. Nearly 18 percent were not affiliated with either party.in Florida. More than 4.3 million Floridians had voted as of Sunday, the Miami Herald
Democrats were expected to take the lead in early voting once in-person voting started. The Democratic Party, however, has had serious complaints with the Republican Party for its decision to limit early voting. First, the GOP-led legislature limited in-person early voting to eight days this year, then Gov. Rick Scott refused requests from Democrats to expand early voting.
On Sunday, after Democrats filed suit to create more "voting opportunities," some county elections offices were opened for in-person absentee voting. The day