Bucking Polls, Republicans Show Strength in Early Voting

The final week of a midterm election is always brutal. Candidates rush from event to event, staffers debate the campaign’s closing message, fundraisers scrabble for the last dollar, and volunteers beg supporters to turn out to vote.

Get-out-the-vote efforts now assume special importance. Careful planning, precise targeting, months of preparation, and vast amounts of volunteer hours now either pay off in early and absentee voting as well as Election Day turnout, or they don’t and campaigns sink. But initial reports are good for Republicans. Last week NBC News found “GOP-affiliated voters have surpassed Democratic-affiliated ones in early voting in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Montana, Tennessee and Texas”—all of which have key races for Senate, governor or both.

Nevada is the only state with a crucial Senate race in which NBC reported a Democratic advantage in early voting. That’s accurate but incomplete. As of Tuesday night, Nevada’s early-voting results show an over 3-percentage-point swing toward the Republicans from the last election’s early voting. Since Democrats carried the state by 2.4 points in 2016, the GOP looks to be in the hunt for the state’s Senate and gubernatorial races.

Early voting also suggests the GOP has made gains in Arizona. As of Monday night, 464,491 Republicans had voted, compared with 356,106 Democrats and 252,810 independent and other early voters. That represents a 5.4-point swing to Republicans in a state they carried by 3.6 points in 2016. That’s good news for GOP Gov. Doug Ducey and Senate hopeful Martha McSally.

Read more at KarlRove.com.