Early voter numbers released this morning by the Colorado secretary of state’s office bring good news for Democrats. The lead notched by registered Republicans dipped a point over the weekend to 38 percent of all votes cast so far in the state. Registered Democrats stayed even at 36 percent and unaffiliated voters gained two points to hit 25 percent.
In the state’s high-population nine key Front Range counties– Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Jefferson, Mesa and Larimer– registered Democrats this weekend cast 3,877 more ballots than did registered Republicans.
What’s more, Republicans have now cast only 1,816 more votes total in the state’s three most highly watched swing counties– Arapahoe, Jefferson and Larimer– despite enjoying a 9,888 lead over Democrats in the number of registered voters in those counties. According to today’s numbers, the percentage of Republican ballots cast in these three counties dipped 1.6 percent overall compared to last week, while the percentage of Democratic votes cast remained the same.
Latest tallies for ballots cast in key Colorado swing counties
County ……. Dem ….. GOP ….. UAF
Arapahoe …. 22,837… 25,295… 13,610
Jefferson …. 28,530… 32,226…. 20,097
Larimer …… 15,495… 17,948…. 13,251
County …….. Dem ….. GOP …… UAF
Arapahoe …. 30,993… 33,590… 19,409
Jefferson …. 37,221… 42,083…. 27,591
Larimer …… 17,856… 20,820…. 15,523
County ….. Dem ….. GOP ….. UAF
Arapahoe … 8,156 … 8,295 … 5,799
Jefferson .. 8,691 … 9,857 …. 7,494
Larimer …. 2,361 … 2,872 …. 2,272
As expected, ballots cast by less partisan Colorado unaffiliated voters– the largest group of voters in the state– are lagging and will likely speed up as Election Day approaches.
Obama campaign officials on Friday told Colorado reporters that left-leaning voters tend to cast ballots later in the voting process and that they expect the campaign’s historic door-to-door get-out-the-vote effort to outperform Republican phone banking and broadcast advertising in the coming days.
The Romney campaign is pushing hard now in Colorado with consecutive candidate visits and heavy spending on advertising, but there are only roughly 15 Romney offices open here.
The Obama campaign has likewise made Colorado a high-priority candidate destination, but it has also opened 65 offices and has launched hundreds of get-out-the-vote “staging locations” around the state stocked with material tailored to specific neighborhoods. Although the campaign declines to provide the number of Colorado staffers it’s paying, at this point, based on interviews with volunteers, that number must have reached something like 200. The campaign’s volunteer rolls reaches many times that number.
The feeling among Obama campaign staffers is that early voting gains being made now by registered Democratic voters reflect campaign ground game efforts and that unaffiliated voters are being pulled into voting by the same grassroots efforts, which they’re confident will translate as good news for Democratic candidates in the end.