Obama campaign national field director Jeremy Bird wrote a memo yesterday, saying that President Obama was ahead in early voting in Ohio:
We see it in the hard data, too. The way to gauge success in Ohio, where voters don’t register with a party affiliation, is by looking at how individual counties and precincts voted in 2008—and those numbers look really good:
· Counties and precincts that Obama won in 2008 are voting early at a higher rate than counties that voted Republican four years ago.
· In counties that Obama won in 2008, 10 percent of registered voters have already cast their ballots, versus only 7 percent in Republican counties.
· Voters in precincts that voted for Obama in 2008 have cast more than half (54 percent) of the 2012 ballots.
· Voters in precincts that voted for Obama in 2008 have cast 53,000 more ballots this year than those in precincts that voted Republican in 2008. At this point four years ago, our lead in these same GOP precincts was just 30,000 ballots.
But in a memo out today, Romney political director Rich Beeson and Romney Ohio director Scott Jennings take issue with how Bird is calculating that Obama is ahead in early votes:
The Obama campaign has only offered one metric to back-up their implausible early vote statistics: that Obama ‘08 precincts are turning out more voters than McCain ’08 precincts. Among the flaws in measuring voter turnout this way: redistricting took place since 2008, so the precincts aren’t even the same, and there are countless “Obama ‘08 precincts” that are traditionally Republican and will be Romney precincts in 2012.
Turning their faulty argument on its head – if you looked at the early vote based on Kasich precincts vs. Strickland precincts, the GOP has a 10.5% edge!
· 2012 AB/EV activity in precincts Kasich won in 2010: 767,077 (55.1%)
2012 AB/EV activity in precincts Strickland won in 2010: 620,665 (44.6%)
· Kasich vs. Strickland advantage: +146,412 (+10.5%)
The Romney campaign also points out that in recent Ohio races, whoever wins the independent voters, wins the race — and Romney is winning the independents in polls:
One thing all the public surveys have in common is that Governor Romney is winning among Independent voters. In the 19 polls released in the public realm since the first debate, Governor Romney leads among Independents in 15 of them (two did not include data among INDs). And, if you take an average of his lead among Independents in those 15 polls, the margin is 12 points (49-37).
The Time Magazine poll shows Governor Romney trailing by 5 points statewide, but winning Independent voters by a 53%-38% margin. That’s just not possible. Write it down – if Mitt Romney wins independent voters by 15 points in Ohio, he’ll be the next President of the United States.
Looking back at the past five major statewide races in Ohio, the candidate who wins Independents has won the state:
2006 Governor (Blackwell-Strickland):
Result: 37-61, Independents in Exit Poll: 26-69
2006 US Senate (DeWine-Brown):
Result: 44-56, Independents in Exit Poll: 35-65
2008 President (McCain-Obama):
Result: 47-52, Independents in Exit Poll: 44-52
2010 Governor (Kasich-Strickland):
Result: 49-47, Independents in Exit Poll: 53-37
2010 US Senate (Portman-Fisher):
Result: 57-39, Independents in Exit Poll: 66-27