Over three million Americans have already voted in the midterm
elections, and so far at least, the numbers don't quite reflect the
widespread narrative of an enthusiasm gap between Republicans and
Democrats. While Republican turnout has been robust, Democrats are
reporting a better picture than expected. Here's a look at a few of the
conclusions people have drawn from available early data.
- Both Parties Report Good News At The New York Times, Michael Shear reports
that Democrats in Iowa, Indiana, and Ohio seem happy with the results
of their get-out-the-vote campaign. But, Shear writes, "Republicans say
they are equally pleased with the early voting results. In Iowa,
Republicans are trailing Democrats in the number of ballots requested
and turned in, but by a far smaller margin than in 2008."
- Pro-Dem 'Pattern Is Emerging' "Republicans are doing better than in 2008," writes Josh Marshall at
Talking Points Memo. "But in a lot of cases not as well as the current
wave election narrative would lead you to expect." Marshall adds the
caveat that "we don't know how people are voting. We just know the party registration of
those who are voting." He also says it's possible that "Democrats built
up such an effective early voting infrastructure in 2006 and 2008 that
they're still turning people out early in disproportionate numbers even
if the total number of Democratic votes on election night are much
smaller than those for the GOP."
- Not So Fast; Republicans Are Doing Fine At National Review, Jim Geraghty
quotes a reader who reports that "in every state where there is
partisan split data for both years, the Republicans have gained in early
voting." This includes Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, North
Carolina, West Virginia, and Florida, as well as two counties in Nevada.
- Still, Colorado Not a Disaster for Dems The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder
runs the numbers for Colorado and finds that contrary to popular
belief, "there is no Republican
surge/tsunami/wave/upwelling/flood/what-have-you. Democrats are 'losing'
statewide, but they're losing at a pace that is similar to the pace
they were losing in 2008, when they won the state."
- And Nevada Looks Good for Reid Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway suggests cautiously that Democrat Harry Reid's campaign
against Republican Sharron Angle "has motivated Nevada Democrats to get
out and vote... If we're still seeing a Democratic and Republican
voters heading to the polls early in relatively equal numbers, it could
mean that Harry Reid will win this one."
- Early Polling Isn't the Be-All, End-All, notes Molly Ball
at Politico. For example, when California used early voting in 2006,
"each party drew 41 percent, a performance that was below Democratic
registration and well above the Republican share." Ball goes on to say
that "even with complete statistics at hand, party breakdowns only mean
so much. Turnout numbers don’t translate exactly into votes—registered
partisans may cross party lines, and the independent vote is frequently
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