While the midterm election date is set for Tuesday, many Americans have already cast their votes through absentee and early-voting procedures. New numbers from a USA Today/Gallup poll suggest early voting is highest among older Americans and people living out West. So which party does this poll suggest is faring better thus far?
Eh, Republicans by a bit, but the advantage isn't all that telling.
As the pollster puts it, "While interested observers have been poring over reports of early voting in an attempt to get a handle on the direction of the election, Gallup's current data do not show much of a difference in early voting by party affiliation." The numbers are as follows: 13% of self-identified Republicans have already voted, with 15% more planning to vote before election day, while 9% of Democrats have already voted, with 14% more planning to vote prior to Tuesday. The poll finds that 9% of independents have already voted and 19% more plan to vote between now and November 2nd.
While these numbers may not suggest a whole lot about how the election will play out, some numbers from the poll do stand out--as 27% of registered voters indicated they either have already voted or plan to before election day, 59% of that total comes from the West and 36% is from voters over 65 years old. In the East, only 6% of respondents stated they have or will make use of early voting procedures, and in the 18-29 age range, 16% of those polled stated they have or intend to vote early. Twenty-eight percent of the young age range said they do not plan to vote or don't know whether or not they will, while only 6% of respondents over 65 expressed the same sentiment.
The pollster concludes, "The finding that older voters have a higher propensity to vote early is not a new one, but confirms that many senior citizens, like residents in the West, are by this point in the election cycle essentially 'out of the game' as far as the campaigning is concerned. A disproportionately high number of younger registered voters volunteer that they will not end up voting this year, also confirming what is well-known in American politics -- that young voters are as a rule not highly involved in the election process."
The results are based on a question included in an October 21-24 survey among 1364 registered voters. Last week, we reported on early voting numbers provided by partisan voter registrations.