New data showing early voting trends show that Republicans are opting to cast their ballots before Election Day at a higher rate in the midterm elections than in 2020, while still lagging far behind Democrats.
According to statistics compiled by the U.S. Election Project, 33.3% of early votes have come from registered Republicans as of Wednesday in states that report such information. This is up from 30.5% two years ago.
Democrats, meanwhile, are holding at a similar rate, with 40.6% of early votes coming from them, a small drop-off from 40.8% in 2020. The increase in the Republican share of the ballots goes along with a decrease in the percentage of non-affiliated voters or those registered with minor parties.
Not all states report party information, however, so the Election Project's data only represents the 23 states that do. In 2020, it was just 20 states. Arkansas, Idaho, Utah, and West Virginia are now reporting party registration data, while Kentucky is not, according to the project's website.
Republicans, in general, have been known to wait for Election Day more than Democrats. In Florida, however, a greater percentage of Republicans are voting early than Democrats. By Tuesday morning, 23.1% of registered Republicans had voted, compared to 21.5% of registered Democrats.
"This is not a good sign for Democrats," Election Project founder Prof. Michael McDonald wrote in a blog post. "Typically in Florida more registered Democrats vote early than Republicans."
Looking at the percentage of votes cast, 43.4% have come from Republicans, 38% from Democrats, and 18.7% from others. This is in line with there now being more registered Republicans than Democrats in the Sunshine State, where GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio are up for reelection.
While Florida was once a battleground, data trends show that it could be turning into more of a Republican stronghold.
In other key states, the early voting statistics vary greatly. In Arizona, where Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly led Republican Blake Masters 51%-45% in a New York Times/Siena College poll, Democrats have only slightly outpaced Republicans in early voting, 39.6% to 37%. In Pennsylvania, however, where Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz and Democrat John Fetterman are in a hotly contested race, registered Democrats are way ahead in early voting turnout with 70.9% of the votes to Republicans' 20.5%.