Democrats should be in a full-fledged panic right now. I know, we’ve been saying this for a while now, but that has pretty much been entirely because of polling. Polling is useful, but it’s not an exact science. What gives us a better clue is early voting numbers–and trust me, if you were a Democrat, the numbers would scare you.
Early voting is awful for various reasons, so it’s no shock that Democrats are all for it. In fact, it’s well established that Democrats tend to vote early in greater numbers than Republicans. This doesn’t stop the media from looking at early voting numbers and trying to derive good news for the Democrats from those numbers, all with the added bonus of potentially suppressing Republican votes by making them believe Democrats have the election in the bag.
So, when Republicans overperform in early voting, it’s a significant story, as it indicates that Republican enthusiasm to vote is far eclipsing that of Democrats. And that appears to be the case today.
The reason Democrats should be panicking hard right now is that Republicans are overperforming in the early vote in two liberal strongholds.
The first is Clark County, Nevada.
“Twelve days of early voting in the books, and I think it’s safe to say now after years of watching these numbers/trends: The Dems are in trouble in Nevada,” reports Jon Ralston of The Nevada Independent. “The reason is simple: Mail is way down in Clark County from 2020, and the numbers are just not big enough to boost the Clark firewall after the GOP wins in-person early voting every day.”
And then there’s the liberal stronghold of Miami-Dade County, Florida.
“Registered Republicans are outpacing Democrats in the breakdown of the more than 3.5 million Florida voters who had cast ballots as of Thursday morning, according to data posted on the state Division of Elections website — an unusual pivot in early-vote trends for the traditionally purple state,” reports ABC News. “In what may be an ominous sign for Florida Democrats with less than a week until Election Day, Republicans across the state lead with 216,302 more votes than the Democrats, mostly cast in-person. Democrats have a 128,660 count edge in vote-by-mail numbers.”
Republican strength in Florida isn’t entirely unexpected, as the state has been shifting away from its longstanding status as a bellwether battleground state to a red state. However, for Republican early votes to eclipse Democrat votes in Miami-Dade County is an undeniable sign that this is going to be a brutal election for the Democratic Party.
“Florida is not looking so good for the Democrats.There are fewer registered Democrats who have voted than registered Republicans. That’s really unusual for Florida,” Michael McDonald, who oversees data analyzed by the University of Florida’s U.S. Elections Project, told ABC News.
Can you recall a time when Republicans won the early vote? I certainly can’t. That’s what makes these numbers so surprising, and for sure, this isn’t a phenomenon limited to these two blue counties.
Heading into Election Day on Tuesday, we’ve seen Republicans leading in the polls and now we’re seeing them overperforming in the early vote.
Tuesday is going to be a very good day for the GOP. The question is: just how good will it be?