Obama grabs wide lead among early voters

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 15, 2012 06:47 hrs

Washington: President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney are neck and neck in opinion polls, but there is one area where the Democrat appears to have a big advantage - among those who have already cast their ballots.

Obama leads Romney by 59 to 31 percent among early voters, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling data.

Nearly 7 percent of those surveyed said they had already voted either in person or by mail, with the November 6 election just more than three weeks away.

According to news 24, both the Obama and Romney teams have urged supporters to vote as soon as possible so the campaigns can focus their door-knocking and phone-calling operations on still undecided voters.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll said that the Obama campaign's efforts appear to be paying off, although its advantage could erode as Election Day approaches.

The Obama campaign said that it is leading among early voters in Iowa and Ohio, and trailing by a smaller margin than 2008 in several other swing states, the report said.

"We've made early investments in battleground states - where we've been registering folks and keeping an open conversation going with undecided voters for months - to build a historic grass-roots organization that will pay off when the votes are counted," spokesperson Adam Fetcher said.

According to the report, the Romney campaign said that it is leading or even with Obama among early voters in several closely fought battleground states, including Florida, North Carolina, Colorado, Nevada and New Hampshire.

The campaign said that it has seen a spike in volunteering and voter enthusiasm among Republicans since Romney's strong debate performance against Obama, it added.

"Not only are we keeping pace with the vaunted Obama machine, but we believe our ground game will put us over the finish line on Election Day," Rich Beeson, the Romney campaign's political director, said. 

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