Southern California -- this just in

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Any chance California goes from blue to red?*

October 28, 2008 |  8:50 am

The polls have shown California to be Obama country for months. And the pundits are still predicting a sea of blue. But there has been a lot of chatter on the political blogs about an interesting finding on early voting in the state.

According to RedState.com, 104,000 Republicans have voted early or by mail-in ballot, compared with 105,000 Democrats.

The polls showed Barack Obama with an 18-point lead in California just a few days ago. The results thus far are the complete opposite. ... With nearly 210,000 people having voted, the Democrats have only a 1,000 vote advantage! If we take the liberty of assuming that all Republicans will vote for John McCain and all Democrats will vote for Obama, then the race is incredibly close.

At the Atlantic, Marc Ambinger offers this analysis: "Early voting is very popular in California, and Republicans tend to vote at higher rates than Democrats. More conservative areas of the state tend to vote early; Los Angeles County traditionally has the lowest early-voting rate. Don't know if the above statistics are correct, but if they are, they're not usual for that state... More importantly though, if Republicans believe that the party breakdown of who is voting early is indicative, then what do they think about what is going on in Nevada, Iowa, New Mexico, Ohio, Indiana, and North Carolina?  Verdict: Nothingburger."

*Updated: The Real Clear Politics average of California polls shows Obama with a huge lead: 58.7% compared to 34% for McCain. The Rasmussen spread is even larger.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: Associated Press