But for Mr. Romney, who has also jumped ahead of President Obama in some national and battleground polls after last week's debate, one part of his campaign strategy seems to be working: not to let Obama grab an insurmountable early voting lead, as he did in 2008 when early ballots in some states put him over the top in his win over GOP candidate John McCain.
Early voting results reflect some “organizational, demographic, and enthusiasm” gains by Republicans since the last election, says James Campbell, a voting behavior expert at University at Buffalo, which is part of New York State University.
For example, while only 0.4 percent of North Carolina voters have cast ballots so far, a majority of them have been Republican votes. In 2008, Democrats ended the early voting season with a majority edge. That year, Mr. Obama became the first Democrat to win North Carolina since Lyndon Johnson, by a margin of 14,000 votes.
"North Carolina was a place that they totally caught us flat-footed in 2008," Romney campaign manager Rich Beeson told the Associated Press this week. "They jumped out to a lead and never looked back. You don't see that happening this time – Republicans have the lead."