Never has the Republican Party come this close to matching early Democrat votes in Iowa.
Not in 2012, when President Obama won the state 52 percent to 46 percent, and not in 2010, when Republican Gov. Terry Branstad won 53 percent to 43 percent.
According to data compiled from the Iowa Secretary of State's office by Ace of Spades HQ, Democrats have turned in just 170 more ballots (98,492) than Republicans have (98,322). Republicans have never turned in more early ballots than Democrats.
To put that 170 ballot lead in context, by this time in 2012, Democrats had a 56,303 ballot advantage, and in 2010 they had 17,228 advantage.
The Republican improvement in early voting is just another sign the Republican Senate Candidate Joni Ernst will beat Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) this November. Braley has not led in a single poll since October 1st, and Ernst has led in every poll since October 3rd.
First Lady Michelle Obama has twice failed to help Braley twice this month, referring to him as "Bruce Bailey" in a speech two weeks ago, and then identifying him as a candidate for governor last night.