Memo from Brad Anderson, Iowa State Director re: Early Voting in Iowa PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Elizabeth Purchia   
Monday, 29 October 2012 12:58

The day after a strong final debate performance, Democrats are building upon the historic grassroots organization we built in Iowa in 2008, including our 67 Obama for America offices and hundreds of well-trained, experienced volunteer-led neighborhood teams in every corner of the state. As a result of that strong foundation and enthusiasm for President Obama, today we are ahead of where we were at this time against John McCain – and ahead of Mitt Romney. Unprecedented early voting numbers show enthusiasm for the President and the strength of OFA’s organization, while Republicans were caught completely unprepared for early voting.

 

Iowa Democrats Maintain a Significant Lead in Early Voting

 

·         Topline: Democrats have a huge lead in early voting, and that lead is growing every day.  Ten days ago, for example, Democrats led by D +52,681 in total ballots cast, and today that advantage has increased to D +54,968.

 

·         Winning Across the Board: Democrats lead on every early vote metric - Vote by Mail requests, mail ballots returned, in-person ballots cast and total ballots cast

 

 

D

R

Margin

Vote by Mail Requests

188,359

125,148

D +63,211

Mail Ballots Returned

123,134

75,452

D +47,682

In-Person Ballots Cast

36,668

29,382

D +7,286

Total Ballots Cast

159,802

104,834

D +54,968

 

 

D

R

Margin

Vote by Mail Requests

45.6%

30.3%

D +15.3

Mail Ballots Returned

49.6%

30.4%

D +19.2

In-Person Ballots Cast

41.9%

33.6%

D +8.3

Total Ballots Cast

47.6%

31.2%

D +16.4

 

·         Winning by More than 2008: In 2008, Barack Obama won Iowa by 9.5 percentage points.  At this time in 2008, we led by D +57,004 in mail ballot requests, D +29,513 in mail ballots returned and 44,686 in total ballots cast.  Our early vote advantage this year is bigger than it was at the same time in 2008.

 

·         Snapshot: In-Person Early Vote

o   Democrats are leading Republicans 36,668 to 29,382 in in-person early vote.

o   Students are voting early in record numbers, including 477 students voting at Cornell following the President’s speech on October 17th – 1/3 of the student body.

 

·         Registration: One of the untold stories of the ground game in Iowa is OFA’s historic voter registration effort this year.  Democrats lead Republicans in registered voters by D +17,486 (D 689,794 vs. R 672,308).  In the last three months alone, 16,257 registered Democrats were added to the rolls compared with just 2,428 Republicans.  As a result, the Democratic registration advantage increased from D +3,657 in August to D +17,486 today.  The Democratic advantage continues to grow every single day as new voters register, and will continue growing right up through Election Day. Since August, Democrats have added 22,406 active voters to the rolls and Republicans have added just 5,924.

 

Why OFA’s Ground Game Matters

 

·         OFA Iowa has 67 offices across the state, with hundreds of trained team leaders, leading thousands of volunteers.  OFA has volunteers in all 99 counties.

 

·         Democrats are winning the battle for early non-midterm voters.  Democrats lead Republicans among non-midterm voters in mail ballots requested, total ballots cast, mail ballots cast and in-person ballots cast.

 

Among Non-Midterm Voters Only

 

 

D

R

Margin

Vote by Mail Requests

59,336

27,778

D +31,558

Mail Ballots Returned

27,115

12,798

D +14,317

In-Person Ballots Cast

8,823

4,092

D +4,731

Total Ballots Cast

35,938

16,890

D +19,048

 

 

D

R

Margin

Vote by Mail Requests

43.4%

20.3%

D +23.1

Mail Ballots Returned

46.1%

21.8%

D +24.4

In-Person Ballots Cast

40.3%

18.7%

D +21.6

Total Ballots Cast

44.5%

20.9%

D +23.6

 

The Romney Campaign is Struggling in Iowa

 

·         “I see the early vote numbers, and I grimace a little bit. … It feels like an Obama state.” – former Iowa Republican Party political director Craig Robinson. [National Journal, 9/21/12]

 

·         Recent GOP early vote numbers do not show momentum, they simply show that the Romney campaign did a mass, “1-million person” mailing, according to GOP Romney operative Matt Strawn.

 

·         Early Republicans tried to push early voting as Rep. Paul Ryan reminded Iowans during an event in September.  Iowa Republican operative Matt Strawn told a reporter in September, “Anybody that tells one of our volunteers that they’re supporting Mitt Romney, you bet we want that vote cast as soon as possible.”  Yet as numbers started to show a large gap between Democrats and Republicans the change their message as Megan Stiles- Communications Director for the Republican Party of Iowa said on October 1st, “Republicans tend to actually prefer to go to the polls and pull the lever so to speak on Election Day.”


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