Note: For more up to date info on Ohio (with over a dozen polls) and other states, see our more comprehensive post, updated daily, Poll Results for Early Voters.
If you're wondering why Republicans have been so keen to shut down early voting in Ohio, just look at the data. So far we've found two polls that include early voting in their data. In both, Obama has a commanding lead among those who have already voted:
Survey USA did a poll on Oct. 5-8. In its sample, 11% of respondents said they'd already voted. Of those, 59% voted for Obama, 39% for Romney.
Public Policy Polling, which tends to lean Democratic, conducted a survey on Oct. 12-13. In its sample, 19% said they'd already voted. Of those, 76% were for Obama, 24% for Romney.
And most recently, Survey USA conducted a poll on Oct. 16, in which 18% of the sample had already voted, with a 57-38 split in favor of Obama.
This is no surprise. At about this point in the 2008 election, Survey USA reported that 12% had voted, and that they had gone 57% for Obama and 40% for McCain. Ultimately, Obama comfortably carried Ohio in 2008, wining 51%-47%.
In the 2008 election cycle, we collected data from more than 80 polls that included information on early voting, and posted it HERE.
We will look at this year's polls from here on out and begin posting anything interesting. Early voting is already on quite a pace in Ohio, North Carolina, Iowa and Maine according to early voting expert Michael McDonald, a professor at George Mason University, (see here), so the results should be interesting.