How the Early Voting Numbers Are Shaking Out for Hillary Clinton So Far
We covered early voting in Florida yesterday, where Republicans were up by around 7,000 votes after two days. After three days — and 27-28 percent of Florida’s overall expected vote counted — the Republicans are up by about 10,000 votes. Republicans have the edge in mail-in ballots, while Democrats have the edge in in-person voting. Popular consensus still suggests that this is good news for the Democrats, and that Dems should surpass the Republicans by this weekend. Republicans typically have a much larger advantage in early voting than they have so far in Florida.
It’s even better news if we assume that more Republicans will break for Hillary than Dems will break for Trump. Right now, polls show about 90 percent of Dems voting for HRC nationally, while only 79 percent of Republicans are voting for Trump.
Still, it’s obviously a very close race in Florida, where 14 of the last 15 polls have given Clinton the edge, but a Bloomberg poll out yesterday gave Trump a 2 point lead.
Before 2016, Arizona was a solidly red state, so any suggestion that Clinton might win it is good for the Dems, and it does indeed look good for HRC. There’s been a lot more early voting this year in Arizona for both parties, and at the moment, the Dems have a 4,000 vote lead among approximately 438,000 votes cast. However, 114,000 of those come from unaffiliated voters, so Independents will almost certainly decide the election in Arizona, where the most recent polls have shown that the two candidates are virtually tied.
In Nevada, where about 70 percent of the electorate votes early, the Dems have a commanding 15,000 vote lead, and are performing slightly better in Clark County (where Las Vegas is) than they did in 2012, while the GOP is performing slightly worse. Edge: Clinton
Texas should not be in play, but it is this year. I seriously doubt that HRC will pull it off in the Lone Star State, but the fact that it’s a race tells us all we need to know about the state of this election. Right now, only 15 counties have reported, and what it is showing is record-breaking turnout within both parties in Texas, but relative to the Republicans, Dems are strongly outperforming themselves compared to 2012. I suspect that a lot of Dems don’t bother to vote in Texas in most years, but that tightening polls have given them an incentive to turn out in 2106. However, I think the close race is also turning out more Republican voters to offset the Dem surge. It will be closer than anyone expected six months ago, but Trump still pulls this one out. Edge: Trump.
The NYTimes is tracking early voting in North Carolina — where about 22-23 percent of the expected electorate has already voted — and the newspaper is predicting a 6 point win for Hillary Clinton. Obama won the state in 2008, but Romney won it in 2012.
HRC is not going to win in Utah, but Donald Trump might not, either. So far, 19 percent of voters are Dems in Utah (compared to 13 percent in 2012) while Republicans represent 38.6 of the electorate this year compared to 58 percent in 2012. That’s a steep drop. What’s most interesting, however, is that Independents represent 38.5 percent, which suggests a very strong showing for Evan McMullin, who may win the state. If Trump loses Utah, he can pack up his bags.
Things are looking very positive for Hillary Clinton in the states that have reported early voting numbers. She’s winning where she should win, and she’s closer than she should be in places where she shouldn’t win. Florida is a toss-up now, but trending in her direction.