By this time in 2012, Democrats had turned in 56,908 more ballots than Republicans, on their way to a 52 percent to 46 percent win for President Obama.
But this year, it is Republicans who have the upper hand. As of yesterday, according to Iowa Secretary of State data tabulated by AOS HQ, Republicans had turned in 105,347 ballots compared to the Democrats 104,984, giving the GOP a 363 ballot lead.
That is far better than the GOP's 2010 pace when they still trailed Democrats by more than 16,000 ballots at this point, but still managed to elect Republican Gov. Terry Branstad by 53 percent to 43 percent margin.
According to Iowa Republican officials, this is the first time Republicans have led in early balloting since 1998 when Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) crushed Democrat David Osterberg 68 percent to 31 percent.
In other good news for Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst, yet another poll now shows her beating Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA). This time it is Quinnipiac which shows her up 48 percent to 46 percent. The Quinnipiac poll is the 5th poll in a row showing Ernst beating Braley.