Will there be a blue wave or a red save?
37 states offer some type of early voting and many of them have been collecting ballots already. So we do know a few things.
And before we look at a few states, let’s start with the conventional wisdom: 1) Republicans generally are strong early mail-in voters while Democrats are the stronger in-person early voters. 2) The folks who track and follow turnout closely say that high turnout should benefit Democrats, and lower turnout benefits Republicans.
So what have we seen so far?
✦ Texas: Turnout appears to be very high in Texas. In the first week of early voting, more Texans have voted than had voted in the entire two-week early voting period during the last midterms. But, both Beto O’Rourke and Ted Cruz’ campaigns believe this spells good news for them.
✦ Georgia: By the end of this past Thursday, almost three times as many people had cast their ballots early than at this point in the 2014 midterms.
✦ Nevada: Nevada looks to be a nail-biter. In Nevada, its often the Democrats who do well in early voting, but this year only have a slight lead over the one they had during the 2016 election. So far the Republicans have turned out a higher percentage of their voters than Democrats have since the last election. That said, a red county that Trump visited recently has seen lower than expected turnout.
You’ll notice there is a group of voters I haven’t mentioned yet. The Independents. They’re voting, too, but we have less than no idea who they’re voting for.
And, if we get down to it, we don’t know for certain if registered Republicans are voting their party, and if registered Democrats are doing the same.
I don’t mean to drive you crazy. But the fact of the matter is, what data we do have at this point can’t be used to draw a reasoned projection of what will ultimately happen when all the votes are counted. On that, the election pundits do agree.
So, we’ll all just need to get used to not knowing how this is going to turn out in the end. Be sure to vote, take friends to vote with you, and in the meantime do something to help turn out the vote!