Early voting has begun in 30 U.S. states and to date most are mail-in votes, a majority of which are typically Republican. However, with early numbers from 7 states compiled, Barack Obama leads 4 states to 3.
Obama leads in Iowa, in Ohio, Maine and West Virginia while GOP candidate Mitt Romney has early voting leads in Florida, North Carolina and Oklahoma. The numbers released, enumerated on the website of the United States Elections Project, are from compiling affiliations, if known, of those voters who requested early ballots and who've cast them; no actual votes have been counted, nor will they be counted until the Nov. 6 election day.
Early Voting in Battleground States
In Iowa, of 127,108 early voters who have cast their ballots so far, 60.1 percent were registered Democrats, 22 percent registered Republicans and 18 percent unaffiliated. In Ohio, of 691,000 voters who cast absentee ballots, Obama leads by 30 percent to 24 percent, with 46 percent listed as unaffiliated voters. Again, these votes have not been tabulated but are a listing of the party affiliations of those who requested and cast early ballots.
Obama trails in Florida, where there are over 4.5 million registered voters and just 36,000 have cast their early ballots. To date 46 percent are registered Republicans, 36.8 percent registered Democrats and 17.2 percent are listed as unaffiliated. In North Carolina of 29,446 early votes cast, Romney leads Obama by 53.8 to 27.8 percent with 18.4 percent unaffiliated.
The United States Election Project
The United States Elections Project is a data collecting organization that comes courtesy of Dr. Michael McDonald, an Associate Professor in Department of Public and International Affairs at George Mason Univ. in Fairfax, Virginia. The U.S. Elections Project website says it is an "information source for the United States electoral system."
The website also says that some of these early figures come courtesy of "...the Associated Press Election Research Group or election officials." There is no data by party affiliation yet released from any of the other 23 states in which early voting occurs.