Biden boast: 'We're winning the early voting'
October 19th, 2012
04:27 PM ET
10 years ago

Biden boast: 'We're winning the early voting'

Sun City Center, Florida (CNN) – The Obama campaign has a message for its supporters: We're winning - in early voting, that is.

Yet the Romney campaign also has a message: You're not.

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Vice President Joe Biden picked up the charge on Friday in Florida, telling supporters, "Folks, if you look around the country, like in places like Iowa, there's early voting."

"I hope it keeps up because we're winning the early voting," Biden added, encouraging voters in the Sunshine State to also vote early.

Biden's comments came during a rally in Sun City Center – an area in Florida's Hillsborough County, some 25 miles south of Tampa. The area, predominantly populated by seniors, is vote rich and attractive to both campaigns. Minutes after Biden landed at the Tampa airport, Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan landed there for a nearby rally. Both Air Force 2, which carries Biden, and Ryan's campaign plane sat on the tarmac not far from each other.

Biden's focus on early voting echoed a claim – from a memo circulated earlier Friday by the Obama campaign - regarding Ohio.

After citing the number of Obama for America campaign offices in Ohio, National Field Director Jeremy Bird wrote that the campaign is currently "ahead of where we were at this time against John McCain – and ahead of Mitt Romney."

The first claim in Bird's memo: "All public polling shows that the President has a double-digit lead among those who have voted."

Biden's boast is bolstered by some numbers.

As of Friday afternoon, Iowa's Secretary of State reported that 477,718 Iowans had requested absentee ballots – with just over 301,000 of those ballots cast.

It's the party breakdown that could prove encouraging for Democrats.

Nearly 46% of the absentee ballots requested in Iowa have been Democratic while nearly 31% have been Republican.

Biden did not specifically refer to these numbers as he claimed the Obama campaign is winning the early vote nor did he cite sources.

Some questioned the claims.

"We don't know if a registered Democrat will vote for Barack Obama and we don't know if a registered Republican will vote for Mitt Romney," Michael McDonald, associate professor government and politics at George Mason University, told CNN. McDonald specializes in elections.

There are other reasons to view early voting claims with skepticism.

For one, Republicans in Iowa have recently made gains in one measure of early voting.

According to the Des Moines Register, "Republican voters' requests for ballots have eclipsed the Democrats for 10 straight days, significantly shrinking President Barack Obama's advantage, according to state records through Oct. 12."

Meanwhile, the Romney campaign is beating back Democrats' claims.

On Monday, the campaign distributed to reporters a memo from Romney Political Director Rich Beeson.

In it, Beeson cited a Reuters/Ipsos poll which said the Obama campaign led in early voting.

"This claim can easily be proved flawed and untrue," Beeson wrote, laying out many reasons for that argument.

Beeson added: "Many of the Democratic ballots are from high propensity voters who would almost certainly be voting on Election Day – meaning that President Obama is cannibalizing his turnout on November 6th. Governor Romney's early voting effort has been, and will continue to be, focused on low propensity voters, which means his Election Day turnout will not be negatively impacted by the early vote program."

–CNN's Allison Brennan contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Joe Biden
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Steve

    Biden is not the most optimal person to be optimal for the campaign.

    October 19, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  2. Malory Archer

    Okay CNN, what was so offensive about my comment that you had to censor it right out of existence before it could even await moderation?

    October 19, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    We're winning.
    No, you're not.

    OMG. Can we please get this election OVER with?
    I am sick to death of Team Romney whining.


    October 19, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  4. rosco

    one scary dude, a heart beat away vote romney

    October 19, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Bill

    Obama has 116 offices in OH. Romney has les than 20. And the Obama team have had a presence there for four years. Romney thinks he can swoop in with two weeks to go, throw around millions of dollars and that gives him the edge in early voting. Bottom line, the Dems. are winning the early voting through their superior ground game. The Romney people are deluded. Novmber 6, goodbye Mittens.

    October 19, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  6. Namejkane sfl a vote for lady parts romney the tax cheat and lyin lady parts ryan willcut your moms medicare and soc sec . .can you afford to pay for them???

    Everything the goofball republicans don't agree with is claimed to be untrue ,like the improving jobs numbers ,I'd like to see romney the tax cheats tax returns to see if he actually paid any ,oh, that's right ,we are sopposed to trust him, are you kidding me !!!!!!

    October 19, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  7. 200 TON HAMMER

    You tell em Mr Vice President Biden

    October 19, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  8. I Voted Early In NC

    The first day of early voting yesterday in NC: 86,000 Democrats, 38,000 Republicans. It broke the record set for the first day in 2008. I voted today and only had to wait 2 hours, yesterday the wait was 4 hours. We have extended hours, more voting machines and more places to early vote than we did in 2008 where I live. While in line I met people from all incomes, professions, and age groups. The majority said they were voting for President Obama because Romney and the republicans scare the heck out of them. Some of these people said they had always voted republican.

    October 19, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  9. Malory Archer

    one scary dude


    What about him is so scary to you rosco? It must s u c k to be as frightened as the tighty righties.

    October 19, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  10. Sasa

    Vote Obama/Biden!

    October 19, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  11. rosethornne

    Shhhhhh... stop pointing out the flawed logic used by gops. Let them build their world around a fantasy. Ignore them. Then go vote.

    October 19, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. Paul "Look at MEEE!!! I'm working in a soup kitchen!!!" Ryan

    Next I'll pretend to work in a factory. Or...or...maybe a coal mine!!! Yeah...that's it. A coal mine!!!!!!! Hurry up boys, get the cameras set up!!!

    October 19, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  13. ExRepublican

    I volunteer for the election and people told me they voted for Obama because Romney/Ryan want another war.
    seniors said that Ryan going to take there medicare and social secuirty from them so they voted for Obama.
    People are voted early for Obama/Biden this is true.
    People are scare of Romney/Ryan.... Ann Romney said her husband had a nervous breakdown when she was about to leave romney.

    October 19, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  14. Tyler

    Biden obviously doesn't understand that just because more Obama voters have voted early it doesn't mean your winning. This is like the visiting team in a baseball game scoring in the top of the first and yelling "we're winning". Just wait 'till the 6th Joe when ALL voters have cast their ballots. By the way Joe, how's the fighting in Iran going? Schmuck!!

    October 19, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  15. chris

    I am tired of media manipulating the pre election news to constantly skew toward a close race. If Obama is out front, God forbid, we have to downplay it and throw in some pro-romney spin to off-set it and create some drama....tired of modern day politics...hurry up Nov 6!!! Get out the democrat vote!

    October 19, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |