As of Monday morning, more than 7 million people have cast early in-person votes or mail-in ballots as more states are slated to open early polls this week.
Early in-person voting started Monday in some areas in South Carolina and in Texas. Several counties in Florida also started the early voting phase.
Former President Donald Trump held a large rally in Texas over the weekend to support Republican congressional candidates, GOP Gov. Greg Abbott, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
“Seventeen days from now the people of Texas are going to defeat Beto O’Rourke,” Trump said over the weekend. “And we’re going to keep Greg Abbott, a wonderful man, a great man, a great governor.”
The U.S. Elections Project, run by the University of Florida, shows early voting has already started in about three dozen states. Some 7.5 million people have cast ballots, with 5.8 million mail-in ballots being cast and 1.6 million people voting during the early in-person phase.
Florida, California, Georgia, and Michigan currently are leading the way, the data shows. Several states with key elections, including New York and Nevada, have not reported early voting tallies.
Analysts and officials in some states say that the turnout is higher than during the 2018 midterms.
“It’s clear that we are above the 2018 midterm at the same point in time in states where we have comparable data to look at,” University of Florida professor Michael McDonald told ABC News earlier this week. “We can see the sorts of indicators that would suggest that we’re in for a high-turnout election, much like we had in 2018. And 2018 was the highest midterm turnout rate since 1914.”
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office echoed those sentiments.
“Friday’s total marks a 51 percent increase from day five of 2018 midterm Early Voting and is only 18 percent less than the total of day five of Early Voting in the 2020 Presidential election,” his office said in a news release. “Georgia has had record Early Voting turnout since the first day of Early Voting this year, surging to nearly twice the number on the first day of Early Voting in 2018. ”
What’s at Stake
Democrats have held both chambers of Congress and the presidency for the last two years, but they may not have such consolidated power for much longer.
Republicans are favored to win the House in the Nov. 8 midterm elections, bolstered by frustration over the economy and advantages in the redistricting process that takes place every 10 years.
The outlook is murkier in the Senate, where Republicans are bidding to take back control. Several races in key battleground states are tight, leading Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to declare the chances of his party winning a majority are just 50-50 earlier this year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.