Over 26 million voters have already cast ballots. By comparison, one week before the 2012 election, only 13.5 million voters had voted early. NBC News Data Analytics Lab broke down the data in battleground states and compared early vote numbers to those a week before the 2012 election.
According to NBC’s analysis, 2016 early voting totals eclipse the 2012 numbers in just about every key state. In Florida, early voting is up by 1,872,967 over 2012. It is outpacing 2012’s totals by 659,556 in Michigan; 413,146 in Georgia; 373,033 in North Carolina; 340,131 in Arizona; 255,626 in Colorado; 214,955 in Wisconsin; 109,464 in Virginia; 93,935 in Ohio; 62,460 in Nevada; and 10,342 in Pennsylvania. Iowa has lower early voting compared to 2012, but not by much: there are a mere 7,257 fewer early voters in the Hawkeye State.
Which party has the early advantage? NBC found 2012’s trends continue in many of these states. Democrats had the early advantage in Iowa, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, and Wisconsin in 2012, and they are again outpacing Republicans in early voting in those states this year. The slight early lead Republicans had in North Carolina discussed earlier this month has been erased, as Democrats now lead the early vote with 906,158 votes (43.2%) to Republicans’ 661,109 (31.5%). Republicans had the stronger early vote performance at this point in 2012 in Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, and they do today as well.
Colorado, Michigan, and Virginia offer a different picture. At this point in 2012, Republicans were outperforming Democrats by three points in Colorado and Virginia and thirteen points in Michigan. Today, Democratic early voters are outpacing Republicans by three points in Colorado and Michigan and by thirteen points in Virginia.
The campaign’s final weekend is focused on getting out the vote on Election Day and this year, it will be the same, only with heightened urgency in many states.