McCormick Place in Chicago is outfitted for President Obama’s planned speech tomorrow night, after the results of the election are known. Photo by George Zornick.
Chicago—As President Obama barnstorms the country with high-wattage celebrities, designed to maximize news coverage of rallies where he delivers his closing argument for re-election, campaign staffers in Chicago are projecting serious confidence about the final results. The convention center at McCormick Place is a flurry of activity as it is outfitted for a speech from Obama tomorrow night, and early voting tallies have campaign officials sure that it will be a victory address, and not a concession speech.
“The math is clear. Our opponent is losing among early voters in nearly every public poll in every battleground state,” OFA national field director Jeremy Bird told reporters late Monday afternoon. “We’re confident a big showing on one day can’t match the votes we’ve already banked over the last month.”
In North Carolina, for example, Romney must win 65 percent of the voters tomorrow in order to carry the state. In Iowa and Colorado, he needs 59 percent of the voters tomorrow; 58 percent in Nevada, 55 percent in Florida and Ohio, and 52 percent in Virginia and Wisconsin.
And it’s not just as simple as having gotten more Democrats to vote—OFA has specifically targeted sporadic voters for early voting. These are people the campaign believes would be less likely to show up to the polls on Election Day itself, so it uses the days, and in some cases weeks, of early voting to persuade them to turn out.
Bird said that in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina and Nevada, 1.4 million Democrats who didn’t vote in the midterm elections have already cast ballots this year—compared to 840,000 sporadic Republican voters.
This disparity is no doubt why Republican officials in swing states have tried to cut down on early voting—from Ohio, where Secretary of State Jon Husted tried to stop early voting altogether until the Supreme Court intervened, to Florida, where Governor Rick Scott is refusing to extend early voting hours after Floridians waited in lines as long as six hours to cast a ballot. This is something prior Republican governors Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist did, and Crist called Scott’s hard-line stance “indefensible” this weekend.