Early voting began in Ohio on Tuesday morning. Obama supporters camped out overnight at polling stations around the state, as part of state Democrats' "sleep out the vote" effort. Early turnout bodes well for the president because, as Ed Schultz pointed out on Tuesday's The Ed Show, "early voters tend to favor Democrats."
In Lucas County, in the north part of Ohio, turnout on the first day of early voting nearly doubled from 2008's numbers. Of Tuesday's 928 voters, 696 were Democrats, while only 40 were Republicans. The Obama campaign has 96 field offices in the state, while Romney's team has just 36.
Early voting tends to be hugely important in Ohio. In 2008, 30 percent of voters got in their ballots before Election Day. This year the number could total 40 percent, said Schultz. According to the auditor of Ohio's Johnson County, a whopping 55 percent of voters in that region voted early in the last presidential election. He says "demand for early ballots so far is up significantly from 2008," according to CNN.
Schultz cautioned against excessive optimism, however. "Beware: Michael Dukakis had the lead before the election in 1988," he said. "This is a long haul."