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Election 2012: Early Voting Results Favor Obama

Early voting results from the 2012 presidential election favor President Barack Obama over GOP challenger Mitt Romney, according to data collected by the Associated Press.

The AP data, based on 30 million early votes, gives Obama the edge in key battleground states such as Iowa, Florida, Ohio, Nevada and North Carolina.

These early figures are good news for the President, as all of the above are states that helped him secure victory in 2008 and will be key players in the outcome of this election.

The figures do, however, project a reversal from 2008 in Colorado. While the President won the state by nearly 9 percent in 2008, the Republicans are now predicted to have an edge.

While the AP figures offer solid projections, the method of data collection still leaves room for a horse race, as the figures do not account for independent voters, a decisive group in this election.

The AP based its figures on party affiliation of early voters in 34 states and the District of Columbia. Voters not registered to either party were not counted. Thus, the projections will likely shift as the day goes on.

There have already been reports of difficulty at the polls in Florida, the perennial wildcard in contested presidential elections. Indeed, shades of the 2000 election reappeared over the last few days, as Florida voters encountered long lines and unexpected closures at the polls.

A report from the Miami Herald indicated absolute chaos as election officials in Miami-Dade County shut down voting at the Doral headquarters on Sunday, leaving 200 voters locked outside for over an hour. The headquarters did eventually reopen, claiming they had lacked the authorization to remain open for the extra hours.

How these tensions at the polls will shape the election outcome is unclear. Historically, Democrats turn out stronger in early voting, and Republicans better on Election Day. While the AP numbers are positive for the President, it remains premature to call them a victory.

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