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In Iowa, GOP outpacing Democrats in absentee requests over last 10 days

Citing state records, the Des Moines Register reports today that Republican voters in Iowa have requested more absentee ballots than Democrats for 10 days running.

This is noteworthy because Democrats in Iowa have been touting their early vote effort, telling reporters that it demonstrates the strength of the party's organization and its commitment to the president's re-election. The first debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney was 13 days ago.

The Democratic effort in Iowa has included a sweeping campaign to bring supporters to the polls on the first day of early voting last month, and a "gotta vote" bus tour that brought national surrogates through key Iowa counties.

Despite the lead the last 10 days for the GOP, Iowa Democrats remain ahead in total absentee ballots requested and returned to date.

The Iowa Secretary of State's website includes current absentee request-and-return totals. Absentee balloting is one of several ways to vote early in Iowa. The Register's reporting does not take into account, for example, in-person voting, which is not similarly tracked.

Most Iowa counties sent out absentee ballots on Thursday, Sept. 27th, which was also the first day of early voting in the state. Absentee ballots are due back to county election offices by Nov. 5th.

Iowa Secretary of State Absentee Ballot Statistics:

Data current as of Oct. 15th 2012:

Democratic - 200,472 Ballots Requested
Democratic - 123,993 Ballots Received

Republican - 130,936 Ballots Requested
Republican - 70,145 Ballots Received

No Party - 97,802 Ballots Requested
No Party - 46,842 Ballots Received

Other - 409 Ballots Requested
Other - 198 Ballots Received

Note: "No party" is Iowa's designation for voters who choose to be independent of Democrats and Republicans. "Other" is the designation for the libertarian and green parties.