There are now enough “early voters” in many states to allow for polls on them. Surprisingly, at least to me, there were also enough for some polling in 2004. Either way, given that most states have party registration (mine, Virginia, does not), the early polls are providing either tea leaves or entrails (pick your metaphor based on your confidence in this stuff) for E-Day.
Jim Geraghty has been trying to keep track of the data and tease some meaning from them. Here’s what we have so far (I think).
Florida: If Obama was genuinely competitive, why are his early voting total worse than John Kerry’s were. That’s not good for the Audacity of Hype.
Nevada: Obama has a very slim lead, but the turnout is Dem-heavy so far. If the Republicans can get their voet to turn out (and again, Nevada has party registration), McCain should win this one, too.
Colorado: Also a Dem-heavy early turnout, but without a poll of early voters, no one can really say what it means (although Geraghty’s correspondent certainly tries).
As for a deeper, national meaning – if one can be found – this would imply McCain is outperforming his poll position so far. Before anyone reads too much into this, though, please note “imply” and “so far.” By E-Day (five days hence), I may be able to convince myself McCain will win, but if I do, rest assured I’ll have a lot more than this.