Election Day in the United States no longer exists. Now, we have an election month. We’re still 13 days until Election Day on November 3 and over 40 million Americans have already cast their ballots.
The conventional wisdom is that most Democrats are going to vote-by-mail or early in-person, while most Republicans will vote in-person on Election Day. Indeed, polling data supports this theory.
And yet, in many swing states, Republicans seem to be showing up in greater numbers than expected.
One company, TargetSmart, provides data to NBC News on the likely party registration of those who have already voted either by-mail or early in-person. TargetSmart reports either the actual party registration of voters in states that allow voters to register with a party, or the company guesses the voters’ party based on a variety of factors.
This data shows that in many key swing states, Republicans are outperforming what initial state polls had projected.
In Michigan, a recent New York Times/Siena poll found that 15% of Democrats had already voted compared to just 5% of Republicans. Additionally, while 69% of Democrats planned to vote either by-mail or early in-person, 31% of Republicans planned to do the same. Just 28% of Democrats planned to vote in-person on Election Day while 69% of Republicans planned to do so.
Yet, with nearly 1.7 million ballots returned in Michigan, according to TargetSmart and NBC News, Democrats and Republicans are tied with 40% of the early vote going to Democrats and 40% going to Republicans.
Over in Wisconsin, a New York Times/Siena poll found that 25% of Democrats had already voted compared to just 5% of Republicans. 60% of Democrats planned to vote-by-mail or early in-person compared to only 23% of Republicans. And 36% of Democrats plan on voting in-person on Election Day compared to a staggering 76% of Republicans.
However, according to early vote data, Democrats and Republicans are again tied with voters from both parties having cast 39% of the vote. Over one million people have already voted in Wisconsin.
In Texas, where Trump is leading by 3.5% according to an aggregate of recent polls, the early vote again tells a different story. Of the over 4.6 million votes that have already been cast, 52% have come from Republicans compared to 39% from Democrats.
However, the numbers are not all rosy for the president. In Iowa, 53% of early votes have been cast by Democrats compared to 30% for Republicans.
In North Carolina, 44% of votes have been cast by Democrats compared to 27% for Republicans out of the over 2.1 million votes already counted.
It is striking that in several of the most crucial states that will likely decide the outcome of the election, Republicans are keeping pace with Democrats in the early vote even though far more Democrats say they will vote early.
According to a recent article in Politico, “Democrats are poring over early vote totals, circulating anxiety-ridden campaign memos and bracing for a long two weeks.” Republican campaigns are likely doing the same.
The early voting numbers in each state will continue to change as voters cast their ballots over the next 13 days. As The Daily Citizen recently reported, we may be heading toward the highest voter turnout in a century.
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