Are we looking toward a Mitt Romney blowout in Ohio? I have harbored the notion since the 2010 elections that this cycle will be just as brutal for the Democrats for the simple reason that until the deficits and Obamacare are ended nothing has changed since the last election. I admit that maintaining that conviction has taken considerable effort in recent months but today Republican voters have pulled almost even with the Democrats in early voting in Ohio. In 2008 33% of absentee ballot went to Democrats and 19% went to Republicans giving the Democrats a +14 edge on election day. This year the percentages are 29% Democrat and 25% Republican, a mere +5 advantage.
According to University of Dayton Professor Larry Schweikart, "Although it is early, we will soon be at a point where--assuming Republicans vote for Romney--the Democrats will have to overwhelmingly win all the remaining early voting just to be even on November 6. But, given Ohio's voting history, if the numbers are even close after early voting, Obama will lose, and possibly lose big."
Controlling state government has its advantages. Since 2008 450,000 dead voters and duplicate registrations have been pruned from the voting rolls. Considering Obama won the state by 263,000 votes, Ohio's cleaner rolls could make a big impact.
While the overall state early voting has gone from plus 14 for the Democrats to only a plus 5 advantage the shift in some counties is more remarkable.
--Champaign County: Was +3% GOP, now +23% GOP - 20 point shift.
--Columbiana County: Was +9% DEM, now +9% GOP - 18 point shift.
--Crawford County: Was +3% DEM, now +12% GOP - 15 point shift.
--Cuyahoga County: Was +36% DEM, now +30% DEM (GOP already has 6,000 more requests than in 2008) - 6 point shift.
--Erie County: Was +24% DEM, now +7% DEM -17 point shift.
--Franklin County: Was +5% DEM, now +5% GOP - 10 point shift.
--Greene County: Was +4% DEM, now +19% GOP - 23 point shift.
--Harrison County: Was +22% DEM, now +5% DEM - 17 point shift.
--Hamilton County: Was +7% GOP, now +13% GOP - 6 point shift.
--Licking County: Was TIED, now +16% GOP - 16 point shift.
--Montgomery County: Was +29% DEM, now +5% DEM - 24 point shift.
--Muskingum County: Was +1% DEM, now +16% GOP - 17 point shift.
--Pickaway County: Was +12% DEM, now +15% GOP - 27 point shift.
--Seneca County: Was +1% DEM, now +13% GOP - 14 point shift.
--Summit County: Was +33% DEM, now +6 DEM - 27 point shift.
--Wood County: Was +10% DEM, now +1% GOP - 11 point shift.