President, first lady among those voting early

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012 9:41 a.m. CDT

WASHINGTON (MCT) — President Barack Obama says he’s going back to Chicago next week to vote early, but first lady Michelle Obama has already beaten beat him to the ballot, mailing in her absentee vote Monday.

After @MichelleObama tweeted her news, @BarackObama tweeted his own Oct. 25 early-voting plan and included a handy link for others who wish to follow suit.

Their tweeting shows the Obama social media strategy at work, but it also plays into the Mitt Romney campaign’s analysis questioning the effectiveness of the Obama voter-turnout efforts.

Michelle Obama is what Rich Beeson, Romney’s political director, might call a “high propensity” voter — in other words, someone who would almost certainly turn out to vote on Election Day.

New polling suggests Obama enjoys an advantage in the early balloting, but Beeson argues that this doesn’t mean much if most of those people would have voted on Nov. 6 anyway. If that’s the case, he said in a Monday morning memo, Obama is “cannibalizing” his Election Day turnout.

“Gov. 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,” Beeson writes.

That said, Republican strategists have to be concerned about the rate at which Democrats are registering voters and requesting early ballots in the battleground states. In Florida, for example, the voter registration forms are coming in at a rate of about 6-to-1 in favor of the Democrats.

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