With eighteen days till Election Day, the momentum is firmly on the Republican side in Ohio. President Obama has offered no positive vision for the next four years, and after voters heard from the two candidates during the debates, the GOP has surged in Ohio. For weeks our unprecedented ground game has been setting records in voter contacts, and now it is paying off. The proof is in absentee ballot and early voting totals.
This week alone, Republicans have added nearly 35,000 new absentee requests and early votes. In the last twelve consecutive days, Republicans have been closing the gap with Democrats, chipping away day-by-day at the Democrats’ advantage.
In 2008, Democrats enjoyed a 20-point advantage in early voting. We have cut that down to only 7 points at latest count and continue to gain each day.
In Franklin and Lucas County, which are Democrat strongholds, absentee and early voting participation is down 17.35 percent and 23.36 percent respectively, as compared to their share of absentee and early votes in 2008. In Hamilton County, which leans Republican and includes Cincinnati, absentee and early voting participation is up 7.22 percent compared to its share of absentee and early votes four years ago.
Not only are Ohio Republicans outpacing Democrats, they are also exceeding their respective share of voter registrations—by 9.26 percentage points.
The enthusiasm gap continues to grow in our favor as voters realize only Gov. Romney has a plan to create jobs and get America moving toward a better future. Even after two debates, President Obama has yet to lay out a second term agenda.
This enthusiasm for the Romney-Ryan ticket has empowered our get-out-the-vote operation. Since the spring, Ohio volunteers have made over 5 million volunteer voter contacts, which amounts to 3 times more phones calls and 23 three times more door knocks that at the same time in 2008. Volunteers have made almost 3 million of those contacts since the absentee and early vote turnout program began.
As the choice in this election becomes clearer, we are confident Ohio voters will turn out in greater numbers for Gov. Romney. Thanks to the hard work of our volunteers and Governor Romney’s positive message for fixing the economy we are on a path to victory in November.
Rick Wiley is the Political Director of the Republican National Committee.