Republicans take early lead in early voting

Data is from a few days ago, but according to MSNBC, Republicans have significantly out-paced Democrats in early voting thus far.

Florida: +6 percentage points for Republicans
Georgia: +9 for Republicans
Texas: +10 for Republicans
Arizona: +11 for Republicans
Indiana: +12 for Republicans
Montana: +17 for Republicans
Tennessee: +33 for Republicans

But Nevada is +7 for Democrats.

This is an oddity because in 2012, it was Democrats who jumped out to a big lead in early voting (which, perhaps, ultimately carried Obama to reelection.) Wonder why it’s Republicans getting in early this time?

Older, white people vote early in larger numbers.

As an older, white people myself, I’ll be doing my bit to reverse the trend this weekend!! :slight_smile:

I’m not as interested in the raw totals as I am about how this compares with previous midterm elections. If Republicans normally take a +20 lead in early voting and this year it’s only +10, that’s bad news for Republicans. OTOH, if their lead is normally +5 and now they’re at +10, that’s obviously great news for Republicans. I don’t know which of those is closer to correct.

Millions Have Voted Early in the Midterms. Here’s What That Means — and What It Doesn’t.

No further comment offered.

Furthermore, it’s not like the votes are public – this data was collected by a company called TargetSmart and analyzed based on available demographic data and previous voter turnout. Without seeing their methods, we can’t really know what that means, which means we can’t really compare it to similar data from previous elections unless this company does it for us.

It seems Millennials have a problem with early voting:

College students say they can’t send in their absentee ballots because they don’t know where to buy stamps


The USPS must be in on the voter suppression efforts, keeping those poor Millennials from voting through a modern-day poll tax, complete with disparate impact on different generations.

Or, maybe younger people don’t generally mail too many letters, and don’t keep stamps on hand. But please, don’t let me interrupt your sneering.
(I call bullshit on “don’t know where to buy stamps,” by the way— not to impugn the stellar press credentials of Business Insider in any way, of course.)

Utter nonsense. Most people don’t mail too many letters anymore. But they know where to buy a freaking stamp. It’s called the Post Office, and there’s one in almost every town.

You’ll be voting in smaller numbers? :smiley:

But then why did the 2012 early vote trend heavily Democratic?
(trying to find a source for it, at work now, so too busy, but I very clearly recall that in 2012 it was well-reported that Democrats were up big in early voting and that helped pad Obama to victory)

I will gently redirect you back to the parenthetical portion of my post.

I don’t care about your parenthetical portion.

Not knowing where to buy a stamp is irrational.

I don’t know much about early voting but I know a little about Texas and I wonder how they can get this figure. We don’t have party registration here, but it’s publicly available which primary (if any) each registered voter chose to vote in during the last 5 election cycles. There’s a guy named Derek Ryan who is a Republican consultant and posts those breakdowns for the 15 largest counties; last I saw the makeup of early voters was roughly 36% who last voted in a Republican primary, roughly 33% who last voted in a Democratic primary, and the rest with no known primary voting history (including around 7% who have not voted in any general election either). Maybe that works out to a 10% advantage if the independents are breaking that way but I don’t think there’s any solid basis for knowing that.

Also (too late to edit) there was an interesting podcast from Nate Silver at 538 who says all analyses of early voting are crap aside from Jon Ralston regarding Nevada only and a couple of unnamed guys in Florida.

“Bullshit,” some might even say.

I think it is clear these kids just can’t be arsed to find a stamp. If they wanted to they could figure it out. Hell, you can buy stamps online from USPS or even Amazon. Or go to and print your own.

Or just Google “where to buy stamps”. It’s not rocket science.

I should add that I see no reason why ballots require a stamp. Someone mentioned upthread, dismissively, that this amounts to a poll tax. Seems to me it actually does. Yeah it is a pittance but is there a limit to how much the state can charge to vote?

Whatever the case on the poll tax just make mailing your ballot free. I get other things from the state that are free to mail. Why not your ballot? (We know why…the people not willing to find a stamp are likely liberals.)

I think it would be a good thing if states paid postage, but it’s not a poll tax if they don’t, any more than bus fares on election day are a poll tax.

From the Business Insider article … the USPS will actually deliver the ballots without stamps … and charge the election board.

But yeah I can see that some younger voters have literally never put a stamp on and mailed anything before. And those who have had had the stamps magically appear in the parents’ desk drawer.

These are marginal and not very likely voters we are talking about, not a highly motivated group. Sure if they cared enough they’d ask Alexa or Google.

And this is an anecdotal report of what a Fairfax official says that he’s heard people saying. I would consider anyone who takes it seriously to be on the same level as someone who cannot figure out how to buy stamps.