DOOM. Early Voting Not Looking Great For Donald Trump

A voter hands his absentee ballot to a Miami-Dade County elections official, Monday, Aug. 29, 2016, in Doral, Fla. Florida voters will go to the polls Tuesday and select the nominees for U.S. Senate, decide whether to amend the state constitution to give a property tax break to promote solar energy and have a say in who should represent them in the U.S. House. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Political aficionados have long held requests for absentee and early-vote ballots as a harbinger of things to come. If that is the case, things are looking grim for Donald Trump in two states that he must win. (Okay, Donald Trump’s path to victory is so precarious that any state classifies as a ‘must win’ state for him.)

Democrats appear to be outpacing their 2012 early vote performance in several critical swing states, giving Hillary Clinton a head start on Donald Trump in some of the most important presidential battlegrounds.

In two must-win states for Trump, North Carolina and Florida, Republicans are clinging to narrow leads in the total number of mail-in ballots requested. Yet in both states, Clinton is ahead of President Barack Obama’s pace four years earlier — and the GOP trails Mitt Romney’s clip.

Any diminishment of the GOP’s mail-in ballot lead is a matter of concern for Republicans because Democrats typically dominate early in-person voting in both states, which will begin over the next 10 days.

When evaluating this keep in mind that a large GOP lead in early ballot requests in those states and Romney won North Carolina by two points and lots Florida by one. If the Democrats are doing better at this in 2016 than 2012, then both North Carolina and Florida are probably out of reach for Trump. Just more evidence of a rigged system, right?