Scott Conroy reports on early voting efforts:
On Thursday, Iowa will become the first swing state to begin early voting. Once it has been gradually rolled out nationwide, early voting is expected to be even more consequential than was the case four years ago — perhaps all but foretelling the winner of the presidential race before Election Day comes around on Nov. 6.
For months, staffers and volunteers at the Obama campaign’s more than five dozen Iowa field office have worked relentlessly to encourage Democrats to request absentee ballots, which any registered voter in the state is allowed to fill out and submit before the polls open officially in six weeks.
As of Monday, registered Democrats had requested 109,709 such ballots in Iowa, while Republicans there had requested less than one-fifth of that total (20,458).
The Fix provides a primer on early voting. An important point:
Democrats generally vote early more than Republicans. In the five 2012 swing states where a 2008 early voting breakdown is available, Democrats voted early more than Republicans in all five. Even in a very good GOP year in 2010, Democrats voted early more often than Republicans in North Carolina, Iowa and Nevada.
Chart from TPM.