Election Day Dispatches

Should Barack Obama Be Worried About the Early Voter Turnout in Ohio?
Who's winning, who's losing, and why.
Nov. 6 2012 10:08 AM

Election Day Dispatches

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

Should Barack Obama be worried about the early voter turnout in Ohio?

155341909
Election Day has arrived

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Welcome, my friends, to the Great Unskewing! Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, we're going to get more anecdotes about voting lines, poll watchers, and broken machines than we've ever had before. I'm about to check out some of the key polling places in Columbus, so I'll be part of the anecdote problem. But at this late hour, I wonder what we can still learn from data.

Dave Wasserman, the brainy House race editor at the Cook Political Report, has produced a spreadsheet that might worry Democrats. Using the data from Ohio's boards of elections, paying no attention to the shifting "party ID" numbers, he collated total early votes in every county. Overall, counties that voted for both Barack Obama and John Kerry saw a 4.1 percent drop-off in early votes. Counties that voted for Bush and John McCain saw a 14.4 percent rise. 

The silver lining for Dems? Well, there are a lot of rural counties that break Republican, and not as many people live in them as live in the cities. Take Richland County, which cast 61,239 votes in 2008, and broke big for McCain. It more than doubled its early vote from that year to this year. But how many votes will that be worth for Romney? It won't outdo the Obama vote from Lucas County (Toledo), which is down by 7 percent. Total early vote in Richland: 20,132. Total early vote in Lucas: 60,703.

Democrats assure me that they've got an early vote lead, and that Mitt Romney will need to win by 10 points today to overcome it. That's what the data tells us.

Speaking of data, if I can make a request: Sasha, what does your Pennsylvania sourcing and reporting tell you about what to expect from there today?

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Do the Celebrities Whose Nude Photos Were Stolen Have a Case Against Apple?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company

Food

How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

Scotland Is Inspiring Secessionists Across America

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
Moneybox
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
The World
Sept. 18 2014 1:34 PM Americans Fault Obama for Giving Them Exactly the Anti-ISIS Strategy They Want
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 2:49 PM Amazon’s Carrier Billing Lets You Pay for Digital Purchases in Your Monthly Phone Bill
  Life
Doonan
Sept. 18 2014 2:00 PM On the Death of My Homophobic Dog I named him Liberace, but I couldn’t have chosen a less appropriate namesake for this coarse, emotionally withholding Norwich terrier.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 12:03 PM The NFL Opines on “the Role of the Female”
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 2:32 PM Kern Your Enthusiasm: The Friendliness of Chicago
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 2:39 PM Here's How to Keep Apple From Sharing Your iPhone Data With the Police
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 18 2014 7:30 AM Red and Green Ghosts Haunt the Stormy Night
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.