The Obama campaign said Saturday that it’s beating the Romney campaign among early voters in the battleground states, as the campaign touted the voter contacts its get-out-the-vote operation has made.
But the Romney campaign counters that Obama’s early-vote advantages in 2012 are smaller than in 2008, and that Team Obama is turning out early voters who would have come out on Election Day anyway, giving Mitt Romney an opportunity to pull ahead with the votes cast on Nov. 6.
The fight over early voting is much more contentious than in 2008, when Obama’s campaign banked an early advantage en route to the president’s win.
“[Romney] would have to win 65 percent of the remaining votes in North Carolina, 59 percent in Iowa and Colorado, 58 percent in Nevada, 55 percent in Florida and Ohio, and 52 percent in Virginia and Wisconsin,” the campaign said in the memo on early voting released Saturday.
Team Obama also said its get-out-the-vote operation has registered nearly 1.8 million voters in 2012, made 125 million voter contacts and set up more than 5,000 get-out-the-vote staging locations in battleground states.
The Romney campaign responded by arguing that the Obama camp was overplaying its hand on early voting.
A Romney campaign official said that the GOP has narrowed the Democratic early voting advantage from 44 to 33 percent in 2008 to 40 to 36 percent this year. In Florida, the official said, the GOP has cut Democrats’ early voting advantage from 2008 by 60 percent.
Republicans also say that the Obama campaign is “cannibalizing” their Election Day voters, turning out early voters who would have voted on Election Day anyway, called high-propensity voters.
The Romney campaign official said Democrats have turned out 48 percent of their high-turnout voters in Ohio, compared with 32 percent of Republicans.
Team Obama brushed off comparisons to 2008 on Saturday. “No one is running against 2008,” said Jeremy Bird, the campaign’s national field director.
Bird also took issue with the GOP’s statistics in Ohio. “No matter how you slice the number of voters who would be considered sporadic or low-propensity voters, Barack Obama beating Mitt Romney by large numbers.”
In Ohio, the most-contested battleground state, early voting has been a contentious topic, as there was a fight that went to the Supreme Court over GOP attempts to stop early voting three days before the election.