A few states have started the early voting process, and now we finally have some actual hard facts regarding the possible outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
The results of these early voting campaigns will not determine a clear winner. There a number of factors that tend to skew the results this process. These factors should be taken into consideration when trying to make predictions based on the results of early voting.
There are two categories of voters that seize the opportunity to cast their vote early. First, there are those who will not be able to cast their vote in November, such as military officials stationed abroad. And there are those who genuinely want to vote early.
These make up a very limited group, since by this point in the election, few have a clear option. As such, only the most politically-minded voters are going to be able to cast their vote with confidence. So far, around 9.500 people have voted. That’s next to nothing when one considers the fact in 2012 over 100 million people voted in the presidential election. And analysts believe there could be more voters this year.
One other factor that could make the results of this early voting period less accurate is the fact that many states have changed their approach to early voting. For example, three states, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New Jersey will expand their options for early voting for the first time.
Colorado has switched this year to all-mail ballot. There will be just in-person voting center, where citizens can register, and cast their vote. Other states have also started encouraging mail-ballots this year.
Early Voting Behavior of Democrats and Republicans
The third most important factor that can affect the results of early voting is the fact that, in general, the Republicans do not focus all that much on early voting, and rarely do they invest in early mobilization strategies. In part, this is primarily due to the fact that Republican voters tend to be older, with strong ties within the community. As such, they tend to observe their civic duties more closely, without needing someone to push them.
Democrats, on the other hand, are aware that their supporters tend to be younger, and poorer. They generally require more motivation to go out and vote. And the Democrats tend to cater to that need. As such, Democrats tend to fare much better during the early voting period.
However, these predictions are very much based on earlier voter behaviors. With the change in the profile of the candidates, the profile of the voters most likely changed as well. Trump supporters may end being more enthusiastic about voting than Democrats, or even mild Republicans who are still on the fence.
The results of this early voting period will take a while to come in. So far, there are only the requests for early voting to go by if one would want to make predictions.
With the first presidential debate coming up soon, we are likely going to see some changes in the voters’ preferences. With just one month to go, presidential nominees will have to step up their game if they want to see any major improvements in their popularity rates, and draw in potential voters who are still undecided.
Image Source: Wikimedia