Up to 40 Percent May Vote Early in Election; Obama Ahead
Early voters could account for up to 40 percent of all voters in the 2012 presidential election, and polls of people who already have cast ballots show President Barack Obama with a comfortable lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Both candidates have been urging supporters not just to vote but to do it early as Republicans and Democrats campaign vigorously - particularly in key battleground states - to lock up as many votes as possible before Election Day on November 6.
Polls of people who say they already have voted show Obama with a lead in many of the states. The Obama campaign, which benefited from early voting in 2008, has focused heavily on urging supporters to vote early in this election as well.
Obama leads Romney 54 percent to 39 percent among voters who already have cast ballots, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling data compiled in recent weeks. The sample size of early voters is 960 people with a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
About 18 percent of registered voters already have cast ballots, the Reuters/Ipsos polling data showed. Around a quarter of minority voters - who tend to support Obama - and almost a fifth of white voters have cast ballots, the data showed.