Via Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight, Survey USA has some pretty remarkable numbers from polling early voters in five states. Obama’s up by 23% in New Mexico; 18% in Ohio; 6% in Georgia; 34% in Iowa; and 34% in North Carolina. Those polled represented at least 10% of each state’s overall likely voters everywhere other than NC (5%).
Obama is leading by an average of 23 points among early voters in these five states, states which went to George W. Bush by an average of 6.5 points in 2004.
Is this a typical pattern for a Democrat? Actually, it’s not. According to a study by Kate Kenski at the University of Arizona, early voters leaned Republican in both 2000 and 2004; with Bush earning 62.2 percent of their votes against Al Gore, and 60.4 percent against John Kerry. In the past, early voters have also tended to be older than the voting population as a whole and more male than the population as a whole, factors which would seem to cut against Obama or most other Democrats.
Looks like Obama’s much-vaunted ground game is already producing some results. And it’s worth remembering that even if the race tightens down the stretch, these early votes are already in the bank.