Saturday, November 03, 2012

Early Voting Poll Results for 2012

One of the more interesting election innovations in recent years is the advent of "early voting".  Early voting rules vary considerably from state to state.  Many states now allow "no excuse" in person voting (meaning that unlike traditional absentee voting, you don't need a reason, such as being out of town, to vote early) at selected polling places as much as a month before election day; other states allow voters to mail in their ballots; and some have loosened their rules on absentee voting.

Political science Prof. Michael McDonald, at George Mason University, has been tracking early voting in recent years.  He estimates that 41 million Americans voted before election day in the 2008 presidential campaign, and that even more will do so in 2012.   While Prof. McDonald has done an excellent job tracking data from the states on early voters, a logical question is who benefits the most from early voting?

In 2008, the Curmudgeon supplemented Prof. McDonald's work by tracking pre-election polls that reported results for the subsets of their samples who had already voted.  In 2008, early voting clearly benefitted Obama and the Democrats; or perhaps it simply reflected the enthusiasm for Obama that led to his large victory over John McCain. 

Now, in 2012, we're once again tracking the pre-election polls and excerpting the data on early voters.  Below, you'll find the data organized in reverse chronological order for national polls and for each state in which there is data available (primarily swing states, as that's where most of the polls are conducted).  We hope you'll find the data useful.  New results in each update are highlighted in yellow.

At this point in the election, it is clear that, at least in swing states, Obama is again benefitting from the early vote, but not to the same extent as in 2008--just further confirming evidence that this is going to be a much closer election.  Winning the early vote doesn't mean winning the election, but it does reduce the amount of "get out the vote" work that needs to be done on election day, and avoids some problems, such as bad weather, that can reduce turnout on election day.


We think that over time, this poll data will be valuable in analyzing election trends.

NOTE:  We had a glitch with Blogger, as a result of which we lost quite a bit of data.  We've done our best to recreate what we can, but some poll data is probably missing, especially during the period between Oct. 20-Nov. 1.

NATIONAL POLLS


Nov. 4-5:  GWU/Politico--33% already voted
36% of Romney supporters and 33% of Obama supporters (not sure what this really means)

Nov. 3-5:  Rasmussen--??% already voted
43% Dem; 35% Rep.

Nov. 3-5:  Gravis--28% already voted
Obama 52%
Romney 44%

Nov. 1-5:  IPSOS Daily Tracking--41% (of likely voters) already voted
Obama 51%
Romney 45%

Nov. 1-4:  Daily KOS--23% already voted
Obama 53%
Romney 47%

Nov. 1-4: Democracy Corps--23% already voted (no breakdown by preference)

Oct. 31-Nov. 4:  IPSOS Daily Tracking--33% already voted
Obama 51%
Romney 45%

Nov. 5:  ABC/WAPO--27% of national sample have voted; 35% have voted in eight swing states.

Oct. 31-Nov. 4:  Pew Research--34% already voted.
Obama 48%
Romney 46%

Oct. 29-Nov. 1:  GWU/Battleground--26% of sample has already voted; no breakdown.

Oct. 29--31:  Wash. Times/JZ Analytics--25% already voted.
Obama 53%
Romney 45%



Oct. 22-24: IPSOS Daily Tracking--17% of sample already voted
Obama 53%
Romney 42%
 



Oct. 21: ABC News/Wash. Post--4% of sample already voted; no breakdown of presidential preferences of those voters.

Oct. 18-21: Monmouth--12% of sample already voted
Obama 41%
Romney 44%

NOTE--this is the ONLY poll we've seen in 2012 or 2008 in which the Republican candidate had a lead in national early voting.
Oct. 15-19: IPSOS Daily Tracking--10% of sample already voted
Obama 56%
Romney 39%
Oct. 14-18: IPSOS Daily Tracking--10% of sample already voted
Obama 53%
Romney 44%
 
For comparison, the earliest national poll with such data in 2008 was conducted Oct. 25-28. In it, 18% of respondents had already voted, favoring Obama by 53%-43%.  The final national polls (taken in Nov. 2008) showed Obama up from between 1% and 19%, with 20-36% of the samples having already voted.
 
COLORADO EARLY VOTING
 


Nov. 3-5:  IPSOS--76% already voted
Obama 55%
Romney 42%

Nov. 2-4:  Keating--69% already voted
No breakdown of early voter preferences

Nov. 1-3:  IPSOS--60% already voted
Obama 50%
Romney 43%

Oct. 31-Nov. 2:  IPSOS--60% already voted
Obama 51%
Romney 43%

Oct. 31:  Survey USA--?% voted
Obama 49%
Romney 46%

Oct. 29-31: IPSOS--61% already voted
Obama 50%
Romney 43%
 
Oct. 29:  Rasmussen--69% already voted
Obama 50%
Romney 47%

Oct. 25-28: ARG--31% already voted
Obama 47%
Romney 52%

Oct. 23-24: Purple Poll--40% already voted
Obama 58%
Romney 32%


For comparison, a poll taken by Public Policy Polling in 2008 as of Nov. 1 showed that 65% had already voted, favoring Obama by 58%-41% over McCain.
 
 
FLORIDA EARLY VOTING
 
Nov. 4-5:  Gravis--50% already voted
Obama 52%
Romney 47%

Nov. 3-5:  IPSOS--51% already voted
Obama 51%
Romney 44%

Oct. 30-Nov. 2:  Mellman--48% already voted
Obama 51%
Romney 41%

Nov. 1-3:  IPSOS--42% already voted
Obama 51%
Romney 46%

Oct. 31-Nov. 2:  IPSOS--38% already voted
Obama 52%
Romney 45%
 
Oct. 31:  Quinnipiac--??% already voted
Obama 50%
Romney 44%
 
Oct. 29-31:  IPSOS--35% already voted
Obama 53%
Romney 45%
 
Oct. 25-27:  Survey USA--23% already voted
Obama 57%
Romney 42%
 
For comparison, the final Survey USA poll taken in Florida in 2008 (over the three days before the election) showed that 58% had already voted, by a margin of 58%-40% in favor of Obama.
 

GEORGIA EARLY VOTING
 
Nov. 1:  Better Georgia--46% already voted
No breakdown of preferences of early voters
 
Oct. 25-27:  Survey USA--28% already voted
Obama 48%
Romney 51%
 
INDIANA EARLY VOTING
 
Nov. 1:  Rasmussen--20% already voted
Obama 49%
Romney 47%
 
IOWA EARLY VOTING



Nov. 2-4:  ARG--44% already voted
Obama 54%
Romney 46%

Nov. 3-4:  Public Policy Polling--47% already voted
Obama 61%
Romney 39%
 







Nov. 1-2: Grove--??% already voted
Obama 59%
Romney 33%

Oct. 30-Nov. 1:  Mellman--41% already voted
Obama 51%
Romney 36%



Nov. 1:  Gravis--34% already voted
Obama 63%
Romney 28%

Oct. 30: Rasmussen--42% of sample already voted
Obama 56%
Romney 39%

Oct. 29-30:  Public Policy Polling--42% already voted
Obama 64%
Romney 35%



Oct. 21: Rasmussen--31% of sample had already voted
Obama 56%
Romney 41%
 




Oct. 17-19: PPP--31% of sample had already voted
Obama 66%
Romney 32%

Oct. 18: NBC/WSJ--34% of likely voters and 28% of registered voters have already voted. No breakdown of who they voted for.





For comparison, in 2008, Survey USA conducted a poll on Oct. 29, at which point 32% had already voted, with Obama leading 69%-29%.

MICHIGAN EARLY VOTING
Nov. 4:  Mitchell Surveys--33% already voted
Obama 57%
Romney 41%

Oct. 31-Nov. 1: Grove--?% voted
Obama 49%
Romney 39%

MONTANA EARLY VOTING
 
 
Oct. 29: Rasmussen--49% already voted
Obama 49%
Romney 46%

NEVADA EARLY VOTING

Nov. 3-4:  Public Policy Polling--74% already voted
Obama 55%
Romney 44%

Oct. 23-29: Survey USA--43% already voted
Obama 52%
Romney 46%

Oct. 22-24: Public Policy Polling--34% already voted

Obama 61%
Romney 39%

Oct. 23: Rasmussen--35% already voted
Obama 51%
Romney 47%

For comparison, in 2008 Roper conducted a poll on Oct. 22-26 in which 51% of Nevadans had already voted, favoring Obama by 56%-33% over McCain.

NEW HAMPSHIRE EARLY VOTING
 
 
Nov. 1:  Gravis--6% already voted
Obama 63%
Romney 37%

NEW JERSEY EARLY VOTING
Oct. 19: Survey USA--19% of sample already voted
Obama 63%
Romney 29%
 
NORTH CAROLINA EARLY VOTING
 










Nov. 4-5:  Gravis--52% already voted
Obama 49%
Romney 47%

Nov. 3-4:  Public Policy Polling--62% already voted
Obama 54%
Romney 45%

Oct. 29-31: Public Policy Polling--52% already voted
Obama 58%
Romney 41%

Oct. 29-30:  Survey USA--40% already voted
Obama 56%
Romney 43%

Oct. 23-25:  Public Policy Polling--30% already voted
Obama 57%
Romney 42%

Oct. 21-26:  Elon U.--22% already voted
Obama 55%
Romney 37%

For comparison, in 2008, the final poll for Survey USA had 57% already voting, with Obama up 56%-41%; and the final Public Policy Polling survey had 63% already voting, with Obama up 55%-45%. This is one of the few states where Obama may be running ahead of his 2008 early voting totals.

PENNSYLVANIA EARLY VOTING
 
 
Nov. 4-5:  Gravis--3% already voted
Obama 61%
Romney 31%

OHIO EARLY VOTING 

Nov. 4-5: Gravis--30% already voted
Obama 55%
Romney 42%

Nov. 3-5:  IPSOS--38% already voted
Obama 59%
Romney 37%

Nov. 4: Rasmussen--40% already voted
Obama 60%
Romney 37%

Nov. 3-4: Public Policy Polling--34% already voted
Obama 60%
Romney 39%

Nov. 1-4:  Survey USA--33% already voted
Obama 58%
Romney 38%

Nov. 1-3:  IPSOS--36% already voted
Obama 61%
Romney 33%

Oct. 24-Nov. 3: Columbus Dispatch--37% already voted
Obama 57%
Romney 42%

Nov. 1-2:  Grove--??% already voted
Obama 56%
Romney 39%

Oct. 31-Nov. 2:  IPSOS--33% already voted
Obama 59%
Romney 35%

Oct. 30-Nov. 1:  CNN--??% already voted
Obama 63%
Romney 35%

Nov. 1:  Rasmussen--40% already voted
Obama 56%
Romney 41%

Oct. 30-Nov. 1:  CNN--?% already voted
Obama 63%
Romney 35%

Oct. 26-29:  Survey USA--25% already voted
Obama 56%
Romney 40%

Oct. 29-31:  IPSOS--32% already voted
Obama 60%
Romney 32%


Oct. 29-30:  Public Policy Polling--33% already voted
Obama 62%
Romney 35%
 
Oct. 29-30:  CBS/Quinnipiac--?% voted
Obama 60%
Romney 34%
 
Oct. 28: Rasmussen--32% already voted
Obama 62%
Romney 36%
Note: Not sure how to square this result with the Rasmussen poll just three days earlier!!
 
Oct. 25: Rasmussen--35% already voted
Obama 52%
Romney 46%
 
Oct. 23-25--ARG--28% already voted
Obama 55%
Romney 44%

Oct. 23-25: Purple Strategies--26% already voted
Obama 58%
Romney 32%
 
Oct. 25: CNN--59% EXPECT to vote early, no breakdown beyond that.
Obama 59%
Romney 39%




Oct. 23: Rasmussen--31% already voted
Obama 53%
Romney 43%




Oct. 22-23: Time--20% already voted
Obama 60%

Romney 30%




Oct. 20-22: Survey USA--26% already voted
Obama 58%
Romney 39%



Oct. 21: Suffolk Univ.--20% already voted
Obama 54%
Romney 41%

Oct. 21: CBS News--20% already voted
Obama 54%
Romney 39%
Oct. 18-20: Public Policy Polling--21% already voted
Obama 66%
Romney 34%

Oct. 16: Survey USA--18% already voted
Obama 57%
Romney 38%

Oct. 12-13. Public Policy Polling--19% already voted.
Obama 76%
Romney 24%

Oct. 5-8. Survey USA--11% of sample had already voted.
Obama 59%
Romney 39%

By comparison, the final Survey USA poll in Ohio in 2008 reported that 36% of Ohioans had already voted, favoring Obama by 60%-36% over McCain.  Obama ultimately carried Ohio by 51-47%.

VIRGINIA EARLY VOTING
 
 
Nov. 3-5:  IPSOS--14% already voted
Obama 59%
Romney 39%
 

Nov. 1-2:  NBC/WSJ--15% already voted
Obama 59%
Romney 38%

Oct. 30-Nov. 2:  Mellman--10% already voted
Obama 53%
Romney 38%
 
Nov. 1-3:  IPSOS--11% already voted
Obama 53%
Romney 43%

Oct. 31-Nov. 2:  IPSOS--10% already voted
Obama 51%
Romney 45%
 
Oct. 29-31: IPSOS--13% already voted
Obama 68%
Romney 30%
 
Oct. 23-25:  Purple Strategies--9% already voted
Obama 47%
Romney 51%
 
For comparison, the final Public Policy Polling survey in Virginia in 2008 had 16% already voting, with Obama up by 63%-36% over McCain.
 
WASHINGTON EARLY VOTING
 
Oct. 18-31: KCTS-TV--33% already voted
Obama 60%
Romney 37%
 
For comparison, in 2008 Survey USA's final poll in Washington had 72% already voting, with Obama leading by 58%-39% over McCain.


WISCONSIN EARLY VOTING
 

Oct. 30-31:  Rasmussen--25% already voted
Obama 56%
Romney 41%

Oct. 18: Rasmussen--???% already voted (Rasmussen doesn't say what % of sample had already voted)
Obama 43%
Romney 54%
 
By comparison, as of Oct. 29 in 2008, a Survey USA poll had 19% of Wisconsinites already voting, by a margin of 61%-34% for Obama.  

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