- The Washington Times - Monday, November 3, 2014

Early voting is up in at least 10 states from 2010, with Democrats outpacing Republicans in the key state of North Carolina and the GOP running out to an early advantage in Colorado.

Registered Democrats in North Carolina have outvoted registered Republicans by almost 16 percentage points through Sunday, said The Associated Press, with the overall total up by almost 200,000 from 2010.

The early totals also show blacks and women — two groups Democrats need to turn out if they hope to stave off electoral disaster — comprising a larger share of the early vote than in 2010. Blacks have cast about a quarter of the early vote this year compared to 21 percent in 2010, and women have cast 55 percent, up 2 points from four years ago.

Republicans countered that they faced a 16-point early voting gap in 2012 but rallied to give 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney a 2-point win over President Obama in the state. Recent polls have shown Democratic incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan with a narrow lead against Republican Thom Tillis.

Overall, at least 16.4 million ballots have been cast in 31 states, according to an AP tally. In 2010, 26.9 million out of 89 million overall votes were cast “away from traditional precincts.”

In addition to North Carolina, other states this year included Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, Wisconsin and Utah.

Here are some other early tallies in states with key Senate races:

IOWA — Joni Ernst (R) v. Bruce Braley (D)

— Both parties have increased their totals from 2010, but there are more registered Republicans voting early than registered Democrats — 21,200 to 8,500 — and Republicans have closed the Democrats’ overall advantage to 1 percentage point.

COLORADO — Mark Udall (D, incumbent) v. Cory Gardner (R)

— Voters are casting their ballots almost entirely by mail in 2014 for the first time, and registered Republicans have a 9-point lead over registered Democrats in returned ballots.

LOUISIANA — Mary Landrieu (D, incumbent) v. Bill Cassidy (R) and Rob Maness (R)

— Early turnout is 181 percent of the state’s 2010 total, the largest proportional increase of any state. Democrats have a 19-point advantage compared to 4.4 points in 2010, though GOP Sen. David Vitter still won that year by about 19 points. Surveys have shown the three-way contest headed toward a December runoff, which will occur if no candidate can crack 50 percent and where Mr. Cassidy, a Republican congressman, appears to have an edge in polling against Ms. Landrieu.

GEORGIA — David Perdue (R) v. Michelle Nunn (D)

— Blacks have accounted for about a third of early votes, higher than in 2010 and 2012, though the GOP swept the state in 2010 and President Obama lost the state by almost 8 points in 2012. Like Louisiana, the contest in Georgia appears as if it could be headed for a runoff, which will occur if neither Mr. Perdue nor Ms. Nunn can eclipse 50 percent of the vote in a race in which a libertarian candidate is polling in the single digits.

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