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Sunday, September 09, 2012

Three swing state stories to follow

From Larry Sabato's newsletter:
Last Friday, a federal judge in Ohio overruled a decision by the state legislature to end early voting on the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday before the Nov. 6 election. In 2008, 93,000 people voted on those three days before the election, and while of course those weren’t all votes for Obama, expanded early voting is more a priority for Democrats than Republicans. It’s impossible to precisely measure the impact, but if the decision stands (there is an appeal), the extra days of early voting are probably worth tens of thousands of net votes for President Obama.

In Virginia, former Rep. Virgil Goode has apparently made the state’s presidential ballot. The Commonwealth’s procedures for getting on the ballot are only mildly friendlier to candidates than Augusta National was, until recently, to women trying to join the course. Candidates must collect 10,000 legitimate signatures, including at least 400 apiece from each of the Old Dominion’s 11 congressional districts. Republicans wanted to keep the Constitution Party nominee off the ballot because the conservative Democrat-turned Independent-turned Republican is likely to siphon more votes from Romney than Obama. Expect his total share of the vote in Virginia to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 1% or so. Our Geoffrey Skelley has more o n Goode’s candidacy here. If Goode stays on the ballot, Romney will lose votes disproportionately to Goode, and those thousands could be critical if Virginia turns out to be very close.

Finally, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s decision to throw out the “none of the above” option that has historically appeared on the Nevada ballot. Provided the Supreme Court doesn’t intervene (quickly), this is another small setback for Republicans, because the GOP fears that voters who might not like President Obama could choose “none of the above” as a protest vote, rather than voting for Romney.

Yes, these developments are minor, and they are not all necessarily set in stone. But in a very tight race, tiny shifts toward Obama in three of the Crystal Ball’s eight toss-up presidential states could matter in November.

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