Is there a lack of enthusiasm in Virginia? Early voting data suggests, yes

Political virginia
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The gap in enthusiasm between Democrats and Republicans in Virginia has been well reported by pollsters.

Wondering what the first numbers of the vote might have to say about enthusiasm?

A lot of things are not good for Democrats, what.

The 2020 cycle had 59.9% of the 4.5 million votes cast in Virginia – 2.7 million in total – cast as absentees, which would include traditional absentee votes and advance votes, both in person and by mail.

This was just under five times the total number expressed in the 2016 presidential cycle.

As of Monday, we’re down to 724,965 early votes, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.

Just over a quarter of what we got last year.

Now, there are five days left to vote early in person and eight days to get the ballots in the mail and on their way to where they need to be, but if you want to make sure your vote is counted, it’s probably better. don’t wait until Election Day to get there.

We’re not going to close the gap of about 2 million votes from last year’s early voting, it’s not that we have to.

The presidential years see the most participation, for obvious reasons. The participation rate was 75.1% of all registered in 2020, compared to 72.1% in the 2016 cycle.

The last cycle of governors to exceed 50% dates back to 1993.

The last three – 2009, 2013 and 2017 – barely exceeded 40%.

The 2017 cycle had 2.6 million votes cast. Suppose a similar number in 2021 and assume a similar advance vote percentage as in 2020, and we expect 1.6 million early votes.

We’re just halfway there right now.

Why is it important for Democrats that early voting is not at all close to what it was last year: Advance votes last year deteriorated significantly on the D side.

For example, in the deep blue of Fairfax County, Joe Biden, in 2020, received 76.9% of the absent votes, 7.0% ahead of the 69.9% he received countywide. .

Even in bright red Augusta County, Biden had better absentees – receiving 37.4% of those votes, 11.8% ahead of the 25.6% he received across the county.

Back in Fairfax: 69.5% of the votes cast in the 2020 cycle – 417,571 – were absent.

As of Monday, according to VPAP, just under 100,000 advance and postal votes had been cast in Fairfax County.

About a quarter of what we saw last year, in a county Terry McAuliffe absolutely needs to have a big win not only in points, but in raw numbers.

Biden won Virginia, in terms of raw votes, by 451,138 votes in 2020. More than half of that margin – 251,542 votes – came to Fairfax.

Just under 225,000 votes of that margin in Fairfax County came from the absentee sector.

I’m dazzling you with numbers here, but the big point is this: The first GOTV isn’t going well at all for Democrats in 2021, compared to 2020.

The first votes do not depend on the weather, are not influenced by a surprise last weekend.

They are locked down and allow GOTV’s Election Day efforts to focus.

The way McAuliffe underperformed the polls in his 2013 victory over Ken Cuccinelli – RealClearPolitics’ final pre-election average saw McAuliffe gain 6.0 points; he won by 2.5 points – the way the various polls right now have the race too close to call it must make you fear the race is pulling away.

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October 26, 2021