Democrats won the news cycle last week. Heading into the final weekend of the election, they have momentum and the electorate seems to the be breaking their way. Donald Trump’s message of fear and hate was over the top for too many Americans. He may have inspired a bit of his base, but he clearly motivated progressives and likely turned off the few swing voters left. He put on display everything Democrats are fighting against—racism, xenophobia, lying, bullying and fear-mongering. He clearly illustrated why Democrats must vote.
The individual polls released in the last few days reflect the shift toward Democrats. NBC/Marist polls have Democrats Gillum and Graham up in the races for Florida Governor and Senator respectively. In Missouri, Democrat Claire McCaskill is up on Hawley in her Senate re-election bid. According to Nate Cohn, who has exhaustively polled competitive Congressional races for the New York Times, polls have shifted toward Democrats by an average of 3.3% heading down the stretch.
Across the country, Democrats recruited strong candidates to compete in races up and down the ballot. Those candidates outraised their GOP opponents and forced Republicans to play in districts that should have been safe. Third quarter finance reports show Democrats in 30 toss up Congressional races outraised Republicans by more than three to one and have more money cash-on-hand heading into election day.
In addition, early voting is dwarfing the numbers seen in previous midterms across the country. Historically, high turnout has benefited Democrats. While they should feel good about where they are now that early voting has ended, the vote tomorrow will determine the outcome.
In North Carolina, more than 2 million people have voted, twice as many as early voted in the last midterm in 2014. Back then, 58% of the voters voted on Election Day but in the 2016, just 34% voted on Election Day. If the early vote reflects two-thirds of the electorate, we’ll have a fairly normal midterm turnout that will probable benefit Republicans. If the 2 million people who have already voted represent only half or less of the electorate, we’ll have the largest turnout in decades and Democrats should have a good night.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >