Many MSM polls continue to assume Democrat turnout in 2012 similar to (or better than) that in 2008:

But the Cook Political Report’s Virginia Absentees Tracker, updated yesterday, shows early voting has declined dramatically in Va. counties that supported Democrats in previous presidential elections:

  • Kerry 2004 localities: down 18.1%
  • Obama 2008 localities: down 13.6%

By contrast, early voting has held up well in GOP-leaning counties:

  • Bush 2004 localities: down 1.7%
  • McCain 2008 localities: down 1.2%

These data are not based on polls. These are actual ballots cast by actual voters.

In 2008, Obama won Virginia by 7 points, 53-46.