Pre-election voting is outpacing 2018 so far across 36 states where the data is available, according to Catalist.
Catalist – a company that provides data, analytics and other services to Democrats, academics and nonprofit issue advocacy organizations – is giving insights into who is voting before November and has data from those states for the last three cycles.
“2022 turnout is very high for a midterm so far, but it’s still difficult to say if we’ll beat the historic turnout we saw in 2018,” Catalist CEO Michael Frias said in a statement to CNN.
In total, more than 21.4 million ballots have been cast in 46 states, according to data from election officials, Edison Research and Catalist.
Nearly 3 million pre-election ballots have been cast in Texas and almost 2.8 million have been cast in Florida.
Some state with large increases in pre-election voting so far have had changes in election rules. Since 2018, Virginia, Vermont and Michigan all expanded access to mail ballots.
In Georgia and Texas, pre-election voting is up compared to 2018, but not to the same extent. In the battleground states of North Carolina, Ohio and Florida, pre-election voting is so far on par with 2018 levels.
Some of the increase in pre-election voting compared to 2018 could be attributed to changes in voting trends.
“Mail voting and early voting have become much more popular than they were in 2018, but we’ve also seen a lot of people going back to Election Day voting since 2020,” Frias said.
In Arizona, Florida, Nevada and North Carolina, Republicans are making up a larger share of those who have returned pre-election ballots than they did in those states in 2020.
The biggest jump has taken place in Florida where Republicans have cast 42% of the pre-election ballots, up from 36% in 2020.
For the Sunshine State, this is a return to a 2018 election trend. At this point of the cycle four years ago, Republicans made up 43% of those who had cast a pre-election ballot to Democrats’ 40% share.
In Arizona and North Carolina, the increases from 2020 are slimmer, but still show a distinct change.
Arizona Republicans have cast 37% of the ballots so far, up from 34% at this point in 2020, and North Carolina Republicans have cast 31%, an increase from 29% two years ago.
Republicans in Nevada make up 35% of those who have cast a pre-election ballot, up less than a percentage point from this point in 2020.
While Republicans in Arizona and Nevada may make up more of the pre-election electorate now than they did in 2020, they are far behind the share of the vote they made up at this point of the cycle in 2018, an election that took place before many national GOP figures like former President Donald Trump discouraged pre-election voting during the 2020 election.
Four years ago, Arizona Republicans made up 44% of those who had cast a pre-election ballot, and Nevada Republicans had a 40% share.
In Pennsylvania, it’s Democrats who have slightly increased their share of the pre-election vote from 2020. Keystone State Democrats make up 72% of ballots cast so far, while at this point in 2020, they made up 70%.
Republicans in Pennsylvania have stayed steady. They make up 20% of the pre-election ballots cast currently, the same percentage as this point in the cycle in 2020.
“Enthusiasm for voting is very high, both among Democrats and Republicans,” Frias said.
“In the past, we’d expect to see a big Republican enthusiasm advantage in a midterm when we have a Democratic president, but after Republican-appointed justices overturned Roe v. Wade we’ve seen increased enthusiasm from Democratic voters, too,” he added.
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