Early voting surges among younger people in Texas, Georgia

Early voting is a tricky indicator for predicting elections, since it's hard to know whether voters who cast...

Posted: Nov 2, 2018 4:44 AM
Updated: Nov 2, 2018 4:44 AM

Early voting is a tricky indicator for predicting elections, since it's hard to know whether voters who cast ballots early would have voted anyway on Election Day but are simply doing it sooner -- or if they represent new voters altogether.

But one thing is clear: the share of younger people voting early in Texas and Georgia is far outpacing anything seen at this point during the last midterm election, in 2014. The trend holds for both those voters aged 18-30 and those 30-50.

Continents and regions

Elections and campaigns

Georgia

Government and public administration

North America

Politics

Southeastern United States

Southwestern United States

Texas

The Americas

United States

Voters and voting

Ballots

2014 Midterm elections

Elections (by type)

Midterm elections

And while the share of younger voters has gone up so far, the percentage of seniors over 65 voting early, even though they are still the largest single bloc of early voters in either state, their overall share has fallen sharply. The group between the ages of 50 and 64 stayed virtually the same.

Both states are the scene of closely watched races: in the Texas US Senate race, Rep. Beto O'Rourke is trying to unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, while in Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp are vying to become the state's next governor in a contest that's largely mirrored the national political climate.

If these early voting numbers actually do turn out to be a harbinger of increased turnout among younger voters, that could be great news for Democrats. According to a Harvard Institute of Politics poll released earlier this week, voters under 30 are much more likely to say they'll vote now than they were in 2014, and they are a deeply Democratic-leaning group.

In most midterm election years, turnout among younger voters is meager in comparison to older voters. According to the Census bureau, just 17% of citizens under age 25 voted in 2014, compared with 59% of seniors.

The new data is not to say older voters still don't make up the biggest piece of the pie in early voting -- they still do. But in other key states, their dominance has barely budged since the last midterm election, whereas in Texas and Georgia a clear break in the pattern is evident.

Check out Arizona and Florida as a comparison to see what we mean: Despite hugely contested Senate races in both states this year, the age groups' share of early voting is largely static, overwhelmingly dominated by seniors just like they were at this point in 2014.

CNN is partnering with Catalist, a data company that works with Democrats and others, to compile these counts of early ballots cast before Election Day, either in-person or by-mail. Catalist compiles these data by matching ballot request and return data from official sources to their database of voter records. This allows for analysis of ballots returned based on voters' partisan affiliation and certain demographic traits.

Here are the total ballots cast so far in several key states with a high percentage of early or absentee voters, plus a comparison to votes cast at this point in 2016 and 2014.\

In several states the vote count is approaching what it did during the presidential election year in 2016 -- which is notable because generally fewer people vote in midterm elections than presidential ones. That could either represent greater interest in the election or be part of a steady trend toward more Americans choosing to cast their votes early. Or both.

Keep in mind that in the totals above, Florida and Nevada have Senate races this year - they didn't back in 2014. But each state featured a statewide governors race both in 2014 and 2018.

Some states also provide information on a voter's party affiliation, and here are three key states where they do: Arizona, Florida and Nevada.

Remember, of course, these numbers only reflect someone's party registration, not for which candidate a person actually voted.

As new numbers flow in tomorrow morning, we'll continue to post updates on what we know about who is voting early.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 31257

Reported Deaths: 1114
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds253640
DeSoto162016
Madison131434
Jones112849
Neshoba99271
Rankin95112
Harrison93311
Lauderdale91079
Forrest87842
Scott77315
Jackson63816
Copiah60715
Washington5919
Leake57819
Holmes55741
Lee55219
Wayne54513
Oktibbeha54126
Warren51618
Yazoo5136
Lowndes49413
Leflore49151
Grenada4905
Lincoln46634
Lamar4657
Pike44112
Monroe40330
Sunflower4008
Lafayette3934
Attala36123
Covington3595
Panola3526
Bolivar34014
Newton3399
Simpson3233
Adams31318
Pontotoc2926
Tate28810
Marion28411
Chickasaw27918
Claiborne27910
Noxubee2678
Winston2666
Jasper2636
Pearl River25732
Clay25111
Marshall2343
Smith21811
Union2109
Clarke20724
Walthall2045
Coahoma2016
Kemper17914
Lawrence1782
Yalobusha1737
Carroll16611
Humphreys1509
Tallahatchie1374
Itawamba1368
Montgomery1352
Calhoun1324
Tippah13111
Hancock13013
Webster12710
Jefferson Davis1124
Jefferson1083
Prentiss1083
Greene1058
Tunica1053
Wilkinson949
Amite912
George893
Tishomingo831
Quitman780
Choctaw744
Alcorn712
Perry674
Stone651
Franklin452
Benton380
Sharkey380
Issaquena91
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 45263

Reported Deaths: 1007
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson5410152
Montgomery4158103
Mobile4129134
Tuscaloosa232142
Marshall172410
Madison14917
Lee141137
Shelby133423
Morgan11215
Walker97824
Elmore94314
Franklin89814
Baldwin8949
Dallas8919
Etowah75013
DeKalb7375
Chambers64227
Butler63428
Autauga61012
Tallapoosa60569
Russell5650
Houston5074
Unassigned50323
Limestone5010
Lauderdale4966
Lowndes47221
Cullman4594
Pike4375
Colbert4086
St. Clair4022
Escambia3966
Coffee3812
Calhoun3765
Covington3707
Bullock36910
Barbour3532
Talladega3177
Hale31421
Marengo31211
Dale2990
Wilcox2948
Sumter28512
Jackson2842
Clarke2776
Winston2633
Chilton2522
Blount2431
Monroe2392
Pickens2366
Marion23313
Conecuh2107
Randolph2099
Macon1999
Choctaw19512
Bibb1941
Greene1868
Perry1791
Henry1363
Crenshaw1253
Washington1117
Lawrence1100
Cherokee1027
Geneva830
Lamar781
Fayette711
Clay692
Coosa591
Cleburne381
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Few Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 94°
Columbus
Few Clouds
83° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 91°
Oxford
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 90°
Starkville
Scattered Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 82°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather