The Slatest

With a Push From Early Voters, Obama Pulls Ahead in Ohio

US President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign event at Ohio State University October 9, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio


Last night in Las Vegas, President Obama spoke at a rally with some not-so-subtle messaging serving as his backdrop: the words VOTE EARLY in huge, ALL-CAPS, look-at-me letters. Based on the latest polling numbers, that message appears to be paying off in the state where the president may need it the most: Ohio.

According to a new survey from Time magazine, Obama and Mitt Romney are knotted at 45 percent among those Buckeye State voters who have not yet gone to the polls. But when you factor in those who have already cast a ballot in the race, the president leads by 5 points, 49 percent to 44.

Time with the early-voting breakdown:

Obama has clearly received a boost from Ohio’s early voting period, which began on Oct. 2 and runs through November 5. Among respondents who say they have already voted, Obama holds a two-to-one lead over Romney, 60% to 30%.

The Obama campaign has long held the opinion that their ground game in the battleground state is far superior to Romney’s, thereby giving them a distinct advantage in the get-out-the-vote effort. Given that roughly a third of Ohio voters cast their ballots early in 2008, it’s not a stretch to imagine that the race this time around might actually be decided in the days before Election Day.