On the Thursday before Election Day in 2008, 4,583 people voted early in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, which includes Cleveland.
This was a stronghold for the Obama campaign; on Election Day, Obama carried the county 69 percent to 30 percent for John McCain.
Yesterday 2,963 people voted.
Again, some of that may be because of people being preoccupied with cleaning up storm damage, etc. But overall, by this point in 2008, 39,110 Cuyahoga County residents had voted early. As of Thursday, 33,140 have — about a 15 percent drop. And note that the early voting was ahead of the 2008 pace until Saturday.
I’m told by an Ohio reader watching the numbers in Hamilton County (which includes Cincinnati) that they see a similar pattern in that corner of the state — early voting on pace until October 25, then a slowdown that has been consistent — about 1,500 early votes per day this week, instead of the 2,000 or so this county saw four years ago. This county — where Obama won, 52 percent to 47 percent, four years ago — is also 15 percent below last cycle’s total.
“Either they are running out of buses to transport the voters or they are running out of voters,” my Ohio reader concludes.