EARLY TRENDS – AT 8:28 P.M. ET: A record number of Americans are voting in this election through early ballot programs. Indeed, observers estimate that as many as 40% of the votes in many races will be cast before election day.
There are some early indications of how people are voting. From The Politico:
Early-voting numbers out of Nevada’s two biggest counties could spell trouble for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in his tough contest against Republican Sharron Angle.
In Reno’s Washoe County and Las Vegas’s Clark County, Republican turnout was disproportionately high over the first three voting days, according to local election officials. The two counties together make up 86 percent of the state’s voter population...
...Some 47 percent of early voters in the bellwether Washoe County so far have been Republicans, while 40 percent have been Democrats, according to the Washoe County Registrar. Nearly 11,000 people had voted in Washoe over the first three days of early voting, which began Saturday.
And this, too, from the Charlotte Observer:
The largest group of early voters in North Carolina is made up of white Republican men, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Democracy North Carolina, a campaign watchdog group.
During the 2008 Democratic sweep, black Democratic women led all groups during the 17 days of early voting. But during the first three days of early voting this year, it is white Republican men.
"Early voting doesn't favor one party or another, but reveals who's most organized and enthusiastic about making their voices heard," said Bob Hall, director of Democracy North Carolina.
So far early voting has been especially heavy for a midterm election.
COMMENT: So far, early trends should make us cautiously smile. Turnout is clearly the key. There are some races where our guys are behind by three or four points – California, Washington state – but numbers like that can be made up by turnout.
October 19, 2010