For all those itching for electoral data as they wait for the polls to close, I can help. A source has passed along the top-line absentee/early voting data from Catalist, which is the big Democratic micro-targeting operation. These aren’t the same thing as exit poll numbers; they aren’t meant to predict the winner of the race, although smart analysts can draw ideas from the data about where things are headed. Among other things, the information is used by liberal and progressive groups that are running get-out-the-vote operations.
As you can see below, the data generally show an early advantage for Obama in many states. (The numbers are a snapshot of where things stand as of 12:10 p.m. today.) That’s not entirely unexpected. Democrats have a more sophisticated operation to get folks to vote before Election Day. And as a rule of thumb, Republicans tend to vote in heavier numbers on Election Day. So I’d imagine these numbers are almost certain to tighten as the day goes on. Meanwhile, here they are:
Colorado: 1,853,586 total votes—44% Democratic, 43% Republican, 12% Independent
Iowa: 658,387 total votes—50% Democratic, 37% Republican, 12% Independent
Ohio: 1,442,536 total votes—50% Democratic, 36% Republican, 14% Independent
Virginia: 316,158 total votes—42% Democratic, 36% Republican, 22% Independent
Wisconsin: 270,664 total votes—44% Democratic, 33% Republican, 23% Independent