Update Sunday, November 1:
As of this morning, the U.S. Elections Project reported that 92 million people have voted early, up from 59.5 million on Monday. States that report party affiliation still show a higher number of Democrats than Republicans, but the gap is narrowing—45.7% to 30.3%, with 23.4% showing no party affiliation.
Update Monday, October 26:
As of this morning, the U.S. Elections Project reported that 59.5 million people have now cast their ballots for the 2020 election. That’s almost double the number from a week ago.
Notably, the balance of participation among registered Democrats versus registered Republicans is shifting a bit, with states that report party affiliation showing 49.1% Democrats versus 27.9% Republicans. A week ago, that was 53.8% for Democrats and 25.3% for Republicans.
In the interest of cutting to the chase, your suspicions are correct: A record number of people are voting before Election Day this year, and, yes, a lot of them are Democrats.
That’s according to the latest data from the U.S. Elections Project, a website and portal that tracks early voting numbers. The site—complete with an interactive map that lets you see the data by state—is maintained by Michael McDonald, a political science professor at the University of Florida, who has been meticulously cataloging the state-level data and even including voter affiliations by party where available.
As of Monday afternoon, the site reports that just under 30 million Americans have already cast their ballots in the states that report such data, while voters have requested 82.5 million ballots total.
In his latest weekly update on Sunday, McDonald noted that the numbers were tracking far above what they were during the same period in the 2016 election cycle. “Again, the headline is that early voting continues at a record pace, with at least 27.9 million people who have voted in the 2020 general election,” he wrote. “Four years ago, at a comparable point in time, I was tracking 5.9 million votes.”
As for how Democrats compare to Republicans, not all states report that data. Among those that do, Democrats are voting early in much higher numbers—accounting for 53.8% of votes cast in those states, compared to 25.3% for Republicans and 20.4% for voters with no party affiliation.
In his blog post, McDonald said the pace of early voting could increase even more this week as in-person early voting begins in more states and more mail-in ballots arrive. He also notes (in bold text) that the higher early-voting participation among Democrats should absolutely not be seen as an indicator of where the final results will end up. You can check out the site’s latest numbers and its interactive map here.