Presidential Election Sees Record Early Voting

Presidential Election Sees Record Early Voting

More than 46 million people have voted in advance of this Election Day. The figures are record-breaking as state after state has seen more early voting than in previous elections. The high numbers for early voting could mean a higher Hispanic turnout. That could turn things around in several key battleground states.

The early voting numbers don’t tell us who the voters chose as their political option for the next president of the United States. So, there’s no way of knowing if Hillary Clinton or if Donald J. Trump is ahead. But the demographic data gives some insight into what the results may have in store.

Many Early Voters Are Hispanic and African American

Early voting shows an unusually diverse electorate showing up at the polls. There is a strong Hispanic presence in states like Florida as well as Nevada. In some states, the turnout for female voters is disproportionately high. Also, in other states, Republican voters seem to have made late gains.

In the final days before Election Day, African American, as well as Latino voters, turned out in high numbers in Nevada and Florida. The Democrats were having a difficult time getting out the vote, but things turned around for them in the last few days. So, the Democrat side has reasons to be optimistic in Nevada and Florida.

Steve Schale is a Democratic strategist based in Florida. He wrote an analysis of the early vote this Monday.

“Just since last week, the percentage of the electorate that’s white has gone from 71 then over the last few days from 68.6 to 68.0, to 67.4, to 68.8. Since Thursday, there has been no day when the electorate has been more than 61% white. This is the Clinton recipe for winning,”

said Steve Schale.

Throughout last week, more than 429,000 Hispanic voters had gone to in-person voting locations to cast their ballot. Compared to the same time four years ago, that’s a 158 percent increase.

The African-American vote in North Carolina gives more reasons for Democrats to be optimistic. Despite restrictions on early voting and a shorter early vote schedule, African-American voters turned out in a large proportion of the total ballots.

Women Voters Showed Up in Record Numbers

Across the Eastern seaboard, women are going to the polls at disproportionately high rates. The numbers for female voters are even higher than the turnout numbers for 2012 when they had a significant presence at the polls. Observers of the election in states like North Carolina, Georgia or Florida believe that many women who voted early are Clinton supporters. According to polls, the Republican candidate Donald J. Trump is facing a gender gap.

Daniel Smith is an early vote expert from the University of Florida. According to his numbers, women in the state of Florida are 52.8 percent of the electorate. However, they represent 56.5 percent of the population that voted by mail. Also, female voters are 53 percent of the in-person early vote. Overall, they make up 55 percent of the early vote in the state of Florida as of Thursday.

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