Republicans claim improvement in early and absentee voting

Republicans claimed gains in early and absentee voting in battleground states this year, compared to their performance in 2008.

Republican National Committee (RNC) political director Gentry Collins penned a memo Tuesday touting signs of improvement in the party's turnout efforts as Democrats have made an intense push for early voting during the last week of the campaign.

"One week out from Election Day, Republican performance in absentee and early voting reflects the enthusiasm gap and likely turnout advantage seen in both internal and public polling," Collins wrote. "Democrat claims of a stronger ground game are contradicted by the data and appear to be a brazen attempt to motivate a depressed base."

The early and absentee effort, combined with more traditional get-out-the-vote actions by the GOP, would "drive Republican victories all over the country in seven short days," Collins added.

Both parties have been targeting their respective bases in recent days to encourage them to begin casting their ballots, if they're able to do so. The early initiatives are driven by a sense that turnout in close races could be the key to victories in Nov. 2's elections.

Democrats have relied on President Obama to encourage early voting by young, African-American and Latino voters and other blocs traditionally supportive of the party. First lady Michelle Obama told Democrats they "don't have to wait" Tuesday in a new Web video.

Collins pointed to specific figures in which GOP efforts have been successful, where Republicans have either overtaken the share of Democrats to vote early or absentee or have increased their portion of the vote from 2008 levels.

Collins highlighted Republican efforts in Colorado, North Carolina, Iowa, Nevada, Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio — states with key House, Senate or gubernatorial races on the ballot.

He said the RNC has mailed 7.4 million absentee ballot application forms to voters in competitive congressional districts, mailed 6.7 million pieces promoting early voting and made millions of phone calls to similar voters.

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