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Early Voting Data: Florida and North Carolina

As of October 25, 6 million (42%) voters have cast their ballots in Florida. Of the total ballots submitted, 43% are from Democrats, 37% Republican and 20% Independent. More Republicans (46%) have voted in-person than Democrats (35%). At this point, the Democrat mail-in ballot return rate (67%) is slightly higher than that of Republicans (63%).

In North Carolina, 3.2 million people (43%) have voted. 40% of the ballots were cast by Democrats, 30% Republicans and 29% by Independents. More Democrats (38%) have voted in-person than Republicans (33%). Currently, Democrats (56%) have a slightly higher percent of mail-in ballots returned compared to the Republicans (54%).

We must use caution before we draw any inferences. Early voting data is not a reliable predictor of what the election results will be in November. It just tells us that Democrats are generally more cautious and are anticipating hurdles (like escalation of the pandemic or long lines). Many Republicans feel that the effects and spread of COVID-19 have been exaggerated by the media, and they are expected to cast ballots closer to election day. Multiple media outlets are already starting to report that Republicans are narrowing the voter registration gap in swing states. Further, the Independent votes in both states are large enough to present an unexpected twist in the outcome of the election.

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