Election day thread, with latest Iowa absentee numbers

Happy election day, Bleeding Heartland readers! All comments about your voting experience or any campaign you’re watching are welcome in this thread. I’d like to hear more reports about radio and television commercials for Iowa House and Senate candidates. The parties have been spending a ton of money on those lately.

A lot of my friends went to see President Obama and Bruce Springsteen in the East Village of Des Moines last night. It looked like Paul Ryan drew a big crowd near the airport too. I’m standing by my prediction that Obama will win Iowa, but ARG did release a poll yesterday showing Mitt Romney ahead here by 49 percent to 48 percent.

The latest Iowa absentee ballot totals are after the jump, along with thoughts about how well Romney needs to do today to make up his early voting deficit.

Absentee ballots requested by Iowa voters as of November 5, 2012

Congressional district Democrats Republicans no-party voters
IA-01 80,331 49,295 54,092
IA-02 92,158 55,899 58,163
IA-03 79,422 60,449 42,845
IA-04 60,830 63,864 43,163
statewide 312,741 229,507 198,263

Absentee ballots received by Iowa county auditors as of November 5, 2012

Congressional district Democrats Republicans no-party voters
IA-01 72,458 46,546 47,554
IA-02 84,079 52,859 51,759
IA-03 69,928 55,945 36,815
IA-04 55,501 60,089 38,722
statewide 281,966 215,439 174,850

As of yesterday, Iowa county auditors had received more than 673,000 completed absentee ballots. That’s not the final early voting number, because some mailed ballots will continue to arrive, and they will be counted as long as they were postmarked by November 5. Also, Iowans may hand-deliver completed absentee ballots to their county auditor’s office today until polls close at 9 pm.

Democrats lead Republicans by more than 65,000 in returned ballots. I consider it likely that Obama leads among the no-party early vote too, so Romney probably has to make up a deficit of between 70,000 and 90,000 votes among election-day voters.

Since 1,528,715 Iowans voted in the 2008 general election, and 1,497,741 Iowans voted in the 2004 general election, I assume that at most 1.6 million Iowans will cast ballots in this year’s election (my best guess would be total turnout closer to the 2008 level).

Former Bush/Cheney campaign staffer Adrian Gray has predicted that Republicans would be able to make up a 60,000 vote deficit on election day in Iowa. He sees Romney on the edge, needing to win today’s vote by 7 points, as George W. Bush did in 2004. I don’t see how he arrives at that number.

With nearly 700,000 votes already banked, somewhere between 800,000 and 900,000 Iowans will cast ballots today.

If 850,000 Iowans vote today, Romney would need around 55 percent of them to make up the early vote deficit, depending on how much the early no-party vote tilted to Obama.

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