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Michelle Obama has already voted, and tweets about it

October 15, 2012|By Christi Parsons
  • First Lady Michelle Obama campaigns in Castle Rock, Colo.
First Lady Michelle Obama campaigns in Castle Rock, Colo. (Ed Andrieski / Associated…)

WASHINGTON -- First Lady Michelle Obama cast her ballot for president Monday, presumably voting for her husband with the absentee form she dropped in the mail.

After @MichelleObama tweeted that news in the afternoon, the president announced that he’ll also be casting his ballot early in a tweet that includes a handy link for others who wish to follow suit.

The tweet-retweet that followed shows the Obama social media strategy at work in his campaign’s ground game.

But it also points directly to the analysis that the Mitt Romney campaign offered up Monday morning, when it questioned whether the effectiveness of the Obama voter-turnout efforts are as good as they sound.

Michelle Obama is what Rich Beeson, Romney’s political director, might call a “high propensity” voter – in other words, someone who would almost certainly be turning out to vote on election day.

PHOTOS: President Obama’s past

New polling suggests Obama enjoys an advantage in the early balloting, but Beeson argues that doesn’t mean much if most of those people would have voted on Nov. 6 anyway. If that’s the case, he said in a morning memo, Obama is “cannibalizing” his Election Day turnout.

“Gov. Romney’s early voting effort has been, and will continue to be, focused on low propensity voters, which means his Election Day turnout will not be negatively impacted by the early vote program,” Beeson writes.

That said, Republican strategists have to be concerned about the rate at which Democrats are registering voters and requesting early ballots in the battleground states. In Florida, to cite just one example, the voter registration forms are coming in at a rate of about 6-to-1.

Whatever else it means, it’s also a sign of life in the field corps the Republicans are going up against every day between now and election day. And on election day itself, too.

There’s no surprise that @BarackObama just promised to be “following @MichelleObama’s example” by voting early on Oct. 25.

The question is how many iffy voters can actually be influenced by all those early-voting friends and neighbors.

INTERACTIVE: Battleground states map

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christi.parsons@latimes.com

Twitter: @cparsons

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