Early voting buoys Pasco Democrats
UPDATE: Early voting giveth, polling places taketh away. Obama's lead is now a half percent with 79 of 154 Pasco precincts reporting.
With 106,000 votes counted -- absentees and early votes, a third of the electorate -- Democrats' early voting effort has paid dividends at the top of the ticket in Pasco County.
Barack Obama has nearly 5,000 more votes in Pasco than John McCain. President Bush won the county by 10 percentage points in 2004.
There's still almost every polling place to register, and Democrats are behind on all but one other major race. But the local GOP's traditional cushion from absentee voting looks like a goner.
"There's nothing left to do," said Pasco GOP chairman Bill Bunting, who also is chairman of the McCain effort in Pasco. "The volunteers are still working -- they're calling up the Panhandle."
David DeCamp, Times staff writer