Early vot­ing data re­veals re­gion strengths for Trump and Clin­ton

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Hil­lary Clin­ton ap­pears to be dis­play­ing strength in the cru­cial bat­tle­ground states of North Carolina and Florida among vot­ers cast­ing bal­lots be­fore Elec­tion Day, and may also be build­ing an early vote ad­van­tage in Ari­zona and Colorado. Don­ald Trump, mean­while, ap­pears to be hold­ing ground in Ohio, Iowa and Ge­or­gia, ac­cord­ing to data com­piled by The As­so­ci­ated Press. Those are im­por­tant states for Trump, but not suf­fi­cient for him to win the pres­i­dency if he loses states like Florida or North Carolina.

“The Trump cam­paign should be con­cerned,” said Scott Tran­ter, co­founder of Op­ti­mus, a Repub­li­can data an­a­lyt­ics firm. His firm’s anal­y­sis sug­gests a “strong final show­ing for the Clin­ton cam­paign” in early vot­ing. Early vot­ing - by mail or at polling sta­tions is off to a fast start. More than 4.4 mil­lion votes have been cast al­ready, far out­pac­ing the rate for this pe­riod in 2012. Bal­lot­ing is un­der­way in 34 out of 37 early-vot­ing states. In all, more than 45 mil­lion peo­ple are ex­pected to vote be­fore Elec­tion Day - or as much as 40 per­cent of all votes cast.

Both par­ties are en­cour­ag­ing their sup­port­ers to vote early. The out­come of those bal­lots won’t be known un­til count­ing be­gins af­ter polls close on Nov. 8, but some clues are avail­able. Some states re­port the party af­fil­i­a­tions of early vot­ers, as well as break­downs by race and gen­der. The data that is avail­able rep­re­sents a small sam­ple of the more than 120 mil­lion peo­ple who will cast bal­lots in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, but a no­table one. A look at early vot­ing trends:

Good signs for Clin­ton: Florida, North Carolina, Maine

The Clin­ton cam­paign is look­ing to build an in­sur­mount­able lead in Florida and North Carolina dur­ing early vot­ing. If she wins ei­ther of those states, she’ll prob­a­bly be the next pres­i­dent. Us­ing 2012 as a guide­post, she ap­pears to be in a strong po­si­tion in early vot­ing. While Democrats tend to do bet­ter in early vot­ing, Repub­li­cans usu­ally post an ini­tial lead with mail-in bal­lots be­fore Democrats sur­pass them dur­ing in-per­son early vot­ing in mid to late Oc­to­ber.

Democrats so far have kept it close with mail-in bal­lots, giv­ing Clin­ton a chance to run up the score with in-per­son early vot­ing. To do that, she’ll need non-whites and young peo­ple to turn out near the high lev­els they did in 2012 for Barack Obama. In North Carolina, Democrats have moved ahead of Repub­li­cans in early vot­ing. Repub­li­cans had held a mod­est lead based on mail-in bal­lots re­turned, but that was at a much nar­rower mar­gin than in 2012, when Mitt Rom­ney nar­rowly won the state. Af­ter in-per­son vot­ing be­gan on Thurs­day, Democrats over­took Repub­li­cans in over­all votes cast. In Florida, a record 3.1 mil­lion peo­ple have re­quested bal­lots, more than one-third of the to­tal vot­ers in 2012. Democrats have re­quested al­most as many bal­lots as Repub­li­cans: 39 per­cent vs. 40 per­cent. By com­par­i­son, in 2008, Repub­li­cans held a lead of 49 per­cent to 32 per­cent in re­quests, ac­cord­ing to an anal­y­sis for AP by Catal­ist, a Demo­cratic an­a­lyt­i­cal firm. Obama won in Florida in 2008 and 2012. Democrats are also show­ing mo­men­tum in the 2nd con­gres­sional district of both Maine and Ne­braska. The two states al­lo­cate elec­toral votes by con­gres­sional district.

Good signs for Trump: Ohio, Iowa and Ge­or­gia

Early vote data for now points to po­ten­tial Trump strength in Ohio, Iowa and Ge­or­gia. In Ohio, data com­piled by Michael McDon­ald, a University of Florida pro­fes­sor who runs the US Elec­tions Project, con­tinue to show big de­clines in bal­lot re­quests in the heav­ily Demo­cratic coun­ties of Cuya­hoga and Franklin.

The state does not break down bal­lots by party af­fil­i­a­tion. By race, voter mod­el­ing by Catal­ist found the white share of Ohio bal­lot re­quests was up, to 91 per­cent from 88 per­cent. The black share de­clined from 10 per­cent to 7 per­cent. In Ge­or­gia, which also does not re­port party af­fil­i­a­tion, both bal­lot re­quests and re­turns from black vot­ers also trailed 2012 lev­els. And in Iowa, Democrats lead early re­quests, 43 per­cent to 36 per­cent. But that level is down sig­nif­i­cantly from 2012. Obama won the state that year based on a strong early vote in his fa­vor. In a state­ment, the Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee said it was focused on boost­ing turnout in 11 bat­tle­ground states and pre­dicted a strong Elec­tion Day per­for­mance. “Democrats are not turn­ing out new vot­ers, just turn­ing out peo­ple who would have voted on Elec­tion Day,” it said. — AP

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