As more and more states move voting to the mail with less in person voting on election day it takes longer to count all of the votes. Washington state for example only votes by mail. There is no in person voting anymore and as long as the ballot is post marked by election day it counts. There also seem to be more provisional ballots in recent elections then past ones though I do not have documentation of that. It just seems like a trend to me.
Not only do these votes take longer to count but absentee/mailed ballots, provisional and early voting lean more towards Democrats. The states pushing more early and vote by mail ballots are also more blue states. That means that Obama’s margin of Victory has increased substantially since the day after election day. On the morning of November 7th there was about two percent separating Obama from Romney in the popular vote. Just over 59 million for Obama and just under 57 million for Romney.
Dave Wasserman of Cook Political Report is doing a great job updating the popular vote count. You can follow him on Twitter @Redistrict.
As of this morning it stands that Obama has 50.88 percent of the Vote to Romney’s 47.40 percent. I just think it would be highly ironic of Romney ends up around 47% overall which might happen as there are still close to two million votes to be counted.
The spreadsheet also keeps track of turnout which is down over 2008 but not as much as everyone thought initially. Currently it is down by 2.76 percent nationally but actually up slightly, currently 0.08 percent, in the twelve swing states. A lot of this looks to be the aftermath of Sandy with New York and New Jersey seeing huge drops in turnout. New York along is showing a seventeen plus percent drop off from 2008 or more then 1.3 million votes. New Jersey is also down by a large amount currently at just over seven and a half points.
It looks like the true post script to Sandy will not be that it cost Romney the election. Romney’s momentum was slowing well before Sandy hit. The pools in the two weeks before Sandy show that progression down in the key swing states very clearly though less clear on a national level. No the real post script is that Sandy drove turnout down so much that the election looks closer then it really was. Higher turnout in the states hit hardest by Sandy would probably have tacked another million or so votes onto Obama’s total. 2012 wouldn’t have been as big a margin as the 2008 election but it would have trounced the 2004 totals instead just beating them.
Just for reference the 2004 totals were
George W. Bush
John F. Kerry