USA VOTING UPDATE

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Early voting update: More than
12.6 million votes cast
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Election 2016

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Story highlights
Democrats are ahead of their previous paces in
Nevada and Florida, early votes show
Republicans have improved their standing in Iowa
and North Carolina compared to 2012
Washington (CNN) — Democrats have nearly
erased the disadvantage they previously faced in
Florida and have improved upon 2012’s numbers
in Nevada as millions of Americans vote early.
Democrats have also improved their position in
Colorado and Arizona compared to this point in
2012, according to a CNN analysis of the latest
early voting numbers.
Republicans, meanwhile, appear to be in a slightly
better position in Iowa and North Carolina —
where the electorate includes more whites at this
stage than it did at the same point in 2012.
These findings represent absentee ballots and
early votes cast by more than 12.6 million
Americans across 37 states where data are
available. CNN has partnered with Catalist, a data
company that works with progressive candidates
and groups, to receive detailed early vote return
information this year. Catalist’s voter list connects
returned ballots with demographic and registration
information, such as party registration, gender and
age, and allows a closer look at who has already
cast a vote.
These are not results — ballots aren’t tallied until
Election Day. But the findings provide clues on
who is voting, and which party is turning out to
vote. And while the numbers track voters’ party
affiliations, not all Democrats are voting for
Clinton, and not all Republicans are supporting
Donald Trump.
Here’s a look at the early voting data from several
battleground states:
Arizona
Registered Republicans are leading in returned
ballots by about 11,500 — a 1.7 percentage-
point-edge over Democrats out of 682,000 votes
cast so far. But that’s well off the 8.5-point
advantage the GOP had at this stage of the 2012
race.
Two-thirds of Arizona voters cast their ballots
before Election Day in 2012 — making these early
voting numbers crucial to watch for Clinton and
Trump.
Colorado
The election is fully underway in Colorado, which
conducts its elections almost entirely by mail. So
far, 422,677 Coloradans have voted, and things
are looking good for Clinton.
Democrats are ahead of Republicans in terms of
returning ballots, and their lead is growing. Their
advantage doubled this week, from about 10,000
to almost 24,000. And that’s not the only bad
news for Republicans: At this point four years
ago, the GOP actually had a lead of more than
6,000.
Florida
The Republican advantage in Florida may be
slipping away as Democrats turn out to vote
early.
Now that in-person early voting is underway, the
GOP advantage has been slashed by about two-
thirds. They were up by about 18,000 votes
earlier this week, but now they lead by only about
6,000 — or 0.3 percentage points. While they are
still leading, they are far behind the advantage of
6.8 points — almost 73,000 votes — that they
had at this point in 2008.
In more possible good news for Clinton, there are
signs that Hispanic turnout has swelled in the
Sunshine State. So far this year, about 13% of
early voters are Hispanic, up from about 8% at this
point in 2008.
We don’t have comparable data from Florida for
2012, which was a closer race than in 2008.
In each of the two previous presidential races,
more than half of Florida’s electorate voted early.
The early vote share was 56% in 2012, and that
number is expected to continue climbing in 2016.
Georgia
Almost 827,000 votes have already been cast in
Georgia, a 39% increase from this point in 2012 —
when half the state voted early.
The Peach State doesn’t register voters by party,
so it’s impossible to know whether more
Democrats or Republicans have voted.
But if Clinton is going to pull off the upset here,
she’ll need strong turnout from African Americans
— and there are signs that their share of the vote
has dropped a bit from where it was at this point
in 2012. Black voters made up 34% of Georgia’s
early voting population at this stage of the 2012
race, compared to 30% this year.
Iowa
Iowa, where 43% of the vote came early in 2012,
continues to be Trump’s strongest state in terms
of early voting.
Registered Democrats still have an advantage
over Republicans, to the tune of about 40,000
votes, or 12.6 percentage points out of nearly
340,000 ballots cast.
But at this point in 2012, Democrats led by more
than 55,000 votes, or 14.9 points. They’ll need to
close that gap if they want to hold onto the state
that Barack Obama carried twice.
Overall turnout is down for both Democrats and
Republicans this year in Iowa. At this point in
2012, nearly 419,000 ballots had been cast.
Nevada
Democrats have benefited greatly from early
voting in Nevada, which began last weekend. They
now lead Republicans by almost 23,000 votes, or
11.3 percentage points — which is slightly ahead
of their 2012 edge of 10 points at this stage.
Republicans had small leads earlier this month,
when voters were casting absentee ballots.
But in-person turnout has been strong in
Democratic-heavy Clark County, which includes
Las Vegas.
Nevada is a crucial early voting state. In 2012,
69% of the state’s electorate cast their ballots
before Election Day.
North Carolina
Democrats have built a large lead ahead of
Republicans in North Carolina, and their lead has
grown in recent days are voters hit the polls early.
Right now, they lead the GOP by about 149,000
votes, or 18.4 percentage points of the state’s
nearly 812,000 votes cast.
However, for the first time since in-person early
voting started last week, Democrats are behind
their 2012 pace. At this point four years ago, they
led Republicans by 167,401, or 20.5 points, in the
early vote. And even with that advantage, it
wasn’t enough for Obama to win the Tar Heel
State against Mitt Romney.
North Carolina reduced its early voting window,
but the total ballots cast so far are largely on
track with 2012 — when 61% of the vote was cast
early.
If Clinton wants to flip North Carolina blue this
year, she’ll need strong turnout from African-
Americans. At this point in 2012, black voters
were 30% of the electorate. They’re only about
24% today. Meanwhile, the share of white voters
has climbed from 64% at this point in 2012 to
72% now.
Ohio
Almost 680,000 people have already voted in the
battleground state of Ohio.
That’s about 18% down from the turnout levels in
2012. After the last presidential election, Ohio’s
Republican-controlled legislature slashed back the
number of early voting days. There are some
signs that the drop-off has been heavier in
Democratic-leaning counties, bad news for
Clinton.

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