See below for some numbers and highlights regarding where we are right now in terms of early voting. Also, there’s some speculation about what it might mean for the election overall…
- First, as you can see, early voting in Virginia is really picking up, with 42k total (in-person and by-mail) early votes on 10/21, and 48k on 10/22. For comparison purposes, at the same point last year, there were about 66k early votes cast in a single day.
- [UPDATE 10/24 with latest numbers; by accident, I put in 2020 numbers by CD yesterday – sorry about that mistake] By CD, total early voting ranks as follows: VA10 (95,765), VA07 (88,260), VA08 (86,431), VA01 (85,763), VA11 (80,021), VA04 (76,342), VA05 (70,204), VA02 (67,666), VA06 (65,921), VA03 (58,050), VA09 (47,267). As you can see, four “blue” CDs (VA10, VA08, VA11, VA04) are in the top six, with the brightest-“red” CDs (VA06 and VA09) at or near the bottom, and “purple” VA07 in second place.
- Early voting in deep-“blue” Fairfax County really picked up, after a bunch of early voting locations opened up, making it MUCH more convenient for people to vote early/in-person. As Sam Shirazi notes: ‘Yesterday 7,367 people voted in person in Fairfax County, up from 6,477 on Thursday Fairfax expanded early voting locations on Thursday and some thought there would be drop off after first day, but there wasn’t As I said, it looks like NOVA waking up”
- Also from Sam Shirazi, this analysis is fascinating: “I’m not saying it is impossible, but why is VA tough for Republicans given NOVA? On Thursday 8,320 votes were counted in Fairfax County Let’s assume Ds netted ~4000 votes over Rs In 2017, Rs netted ~5000 in all of Fauquier County, red DC exurb, total. So one good day of early voting in Fairfax Country almost able to wipe out R gains in a nearby R leaning county of 70,000 people. You do that over and over, there aren’t enough R parts of state to cancel out NOVA, Richmond, Hampton Roads, and other urban areas.”
- John Couvillon’s analysis is interesting as well: “Yesterday was another good day for Dems. The “EV gap” narrowed from 66 to 65% statewide (VBM -72%, In Person -60%) relative to a similar point in time in 2020. IOW, the “normal” drop-off I’d expect btw a Pres vs an “off year” stwd election is 34%…Similarly, in 6 larger, heavily Dem jurisdictions (Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax County, Hampton, Portsmouth, and Richmond), the statewide % of the EV cast as of yesterday was: 2017: 36% of EV 2020: 26% of EV 10/20/2021: 21.7% (+0.4%) of EV. These 6 jurisdictions, by the way, voted 73-24% for Biden and represent 23% of the total statewide vote (the rest of VA voted 50-48% for Trump), so McAuliffe NEEDS a massive vote from these jurisdictions. For the first time yesterday, 1 day statewide numbers for IP+VBM were 32% less than they were after a similar point in time in 2020. In other words (as I’ve said for a month now :)), a normal turnout drop-off from a Presidential election. EVing ends in a week (10/30).”
- And Lenny Bronner of the WaPo tweets: “TLDR: early voting is down in Virginia (around 500k vs. 1.5m at this point before the general), but that is expected. Fewer people vote early in off-year elections and these numbers are in line with previous decreases. So far the fraction of the early vote coming from Democrats (VA doesn’t have party registration, so we use partisan primary participation) is down relative to 2020. In late October of last year it was nearly 3:1, now it’s 2:1. Also, the fraction of votes coming from young voters is way way down. In October 2020 nearly 12% of early ballots had come from voters under the age of 30, now that fraction is 5%. Also, the fraction of ballots cast by over 60 year olds has gone from 48% to 66%. Neither of those things spell doom for Democrats — they can both be explained by a form of regression to the mean. But they are both additional signals (along with state polling and Biden’s approval rating in VA) that things will likely be tighter this year than last.”
- TargetSmart’s latest “modeled” numbers have early voting at 55.0% Democratic , 30.5% Republican and 14.5% unaffiliated. Last year, at the same time, the breakdown was 49.6% Democratic, 37.0% Republican, 13.4% unaffiliated. And at the same time in 2017 (which is difficult to compare to, because the early voting rules were much tighter back then), it was 46.4% Democratic, 45.0% Republican and 8.6% unaffiliated.
- Finally, for what it’s worth, PredictIt now has McAuliffe at 69 cents and Youngkin at 36 cents. That’s down from McAuliffe at 78 cents on 10/17.