Massive Early Voting Numbers Fuel Prediction Of Historic 2020 Turnout

Massive Early Voting Numbers Fuel Prediction Of Historic 2020 Turnout

It's Election Day in the United States, and before a single ballot was cast today, more than 100 million people had already voted, according to early voting data from JMC Analytics and Polling.

That total is roughly 73 percent of 2016 turnout, when 137 million Americans cast ballots, with political experts like FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver predicting 2020 turnout will far outpace that number.

"Our final turnout estimate landed at 158 million, with an 80th percentile range between 147 and 168 million. Compares to 137 million in 2016," Silver tweeted Tuesday morning.

But even more astounding is that four states have already surpassed their total 2016 turnout before Election Day — a sign experts say suggests 2020 turnout may set records.

Hawaii, Nevada, Texas, and Washington state have all seen more ballots in 2020 than in 2016.

Hawaii was the first state to surpass its total vote from four years ago, on Oct. 29, six days before the election, according to Michael McDonald, a professor at the University of Florida who runs the U.S. Elections Project early vote tracker.

Texas surpassed its total 2016 turnout four days before Election Day, Bloomberg News reported — a massive turnout surge that's turned the reliably Republican state into a toss-up contest.

Nevada's early vote totals also portend good results for Democrats. Jon Ralston, a longtime Nevada reporter who has correctly predicted the outcome of elections in the state based on the early vote three election cycles in a row, said Joe Biden is on track to defeat Donald Trump in the state.

"The Democrats have banked so many votes in early voting that it is almost impossible for the Republicans to overcome it on Election Day," Ralston reported.

As of Nov. 1, two days before the election, a number of other states were just shy of their total 2016 turnout — suggesting they, too, will surpass the number of votes cast four years ago.

North Carolina, a key battleground this cycle, was at 95 percent of its total 2016 vote.

Georgia, another reliably Republican state that is now a jump ball between Trump and Biden, was at 94 percent of its total 2016 turnout on Nov. 1.

Polls begin to close on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Eastern, with critical states like Florida closing at 7 p.m. After that, it will start to become clear whether massive turnout benefited one candidate or the other.

Whatever the outcome, 2020 is set to be a historic year for turnout.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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