Recent opinion polls show that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and U.S. President Barack Obama are nearly tied but Obama leads Romney in one major area. That area is voters who have cast their ballots already. Obama has a 59 percent to 31 percent lead, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted over the past couple of weeks.
The poll found that 7 percent of people surveyed already cast their vote by mail or in person. In the 2008 election, one in three voters cast their ballot prior to the election. In 40 states, voting has begun in one way or another this early in the voting season.
Both campaigns are telling their supporters to vote prior to Election Day so they can focus their energy on people who still need to be convinced to vote for one candidate or the other. According to the Obama campaign, they hold a lead amongst early voters in Ohio and Iowa but trail slightly compared to 2008 in other swing states.
“We’ve made early investments in battleground states – where we’ve been registering folks and keeping an open conversation going with undecided voters for months – to build a historic grass-roots organization that will pay off when the votes are counted,” spokesman Adam Fetcher said.
According to the Romney campaign, they hold a lead or are tied with Obama in Florida, North Carolina, Colorado, Nevada and New Hampshire. Romney’s campaign also noted that it has witnessed a rise in volunteering since Romney’s performance in the October 3 debate with Obama.
“Not only are we keeping pace with the vaunted Obama machine, but we believe our ground game will put us over the finish line on Election Day,” said Rich Beeson, the Romney campaign’s political director.
The poll conducted by Reuters/Ipsos surveyed 6,704 people, asking them if they had already placed a vote. The poll measures accuracy with a credibility interval. The credibility interval for the total number of people surveyed was 1.3 points. There were 361 people who said they already voted and that credibility interval was 10 points.