Students walk past campaign signs next to an early voting site on the Miami Dade College campus, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, in Miami. Early voting is available for the first time on the campuses of Florida’s major state colleges and universities. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
NBC News is reporting that early vote numbers in a handful of benchmark states indicate that the much ballyhooed Democrat “enthusiasm” advantage is imaginary.
Republican-affiliated voters have outpaced Democratic-affiliated voters in early voting in seven closely watched states, according to data provided by TargetSmart and independently analyzed by the NBC News Data Analytics Lab.
GOP-affiliated voters have surpassed Democratic-affiliated ones in early voting in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Montana, Tennessee and Texas, the data showed.
Only in Nevada have Democratic-affiliated voters exceeded Republican-affiliated voters so far in early voting, according to the data.
These are the early voting totals…they do not include absentee ballots.
And this is the breakout by state.
Here are what I see as key points here.
First, early voting doesn’t necessarily translate into higher turnout. Early voting, by definition, has to cannibalize turnout on election day. What it does is bank votes and then the election day is dominated by demographics with a high propensity to turn out.
Second, in the past, Democrats have usually cast more early votes than Republicans. For instance, Obama and Clinton won the early vote contest in North Carolina but lost the state.
Third, if people really are all hot-and-bothered at the thought of voting, one would expect them to scratch that itch sooner rather than later.
This disparity between GOP and Democrat votes on turf that has historically been Democrat-friendly says that the actions of Democrats who claim voting in 2018 is the most important thing to them is not matching what they are telling pollsters. Without a buffer in early voting, the Democrats are going to face an election day with a voter base composed of people with marginal attachment to voting against a GOP base that votes in very high numbers.
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