2024 Primary Early Voting, Day Ten: Down to the wire

Here we go, the penultimate day and the day where we really see the uptick in early voting:

Year    Mail    Early    Total
2012   7,458   23,080   30,538
2016  12,202   53,302   65,504
2020  21,658   82,365  104,023
2024  14,002   65,756   79,758

2012  16,968   47,152   64,120
2016  18,876   79,276   98,152
2020  21,340   65,793   87,133
2024   5,709   80,435   86,144

As a reminder, Dem totals are on top, Republican ones on the bottom. Here are the Day Ten totals for this year, and here are the final totals from 2012, 2016, and 2020.

Here’s the Derek Ryan report through Wednesday. Not a whole lot to say. I think we’re on track for 100K Dem early votes, and 105-110K early Republican votes. Dems did surpass the final 2012 turnout as expected, and are about 7K away from surpassing final early turnout from 2016. The numbers are about where I thought they’d be – they don’t feel loud, but they’re perfectly fine. I’m surrounded by advertising – multiple mailers every day, I’m stalked all over the web and social media by more candidates than I can keep track of, and the other day when we briefly had the KHOU 6 PM news on I saw commercials for Kim Ogg and Judge RK Sandill. Good thing I’m not listening to the radio, I can only imagine how many ads I’d have consumed by now.

I said I’d look back at past primaries to see how final turnout compared to early voting. Here’s what I have, and I must say I was a little surprised:

Election   Early    E-Day    Total  Early%
2012 D    38,911   37,575   75,150  51.78%
2012 R    79,507   84,473  163,980  48.49%

2014 D    31,688   22,100   53,788  58.91%
2014 R    77,768   61,935  139,703  55.67%

2016 D    87,605  139,675  227,280  38.54%
2016 R   134,827  194,941  329,768  40.89%

2018 D    92,847   75,135  167,982  55.27%
2018 R    85,925   70,462  156,387  54.94%

2020 D   145,148  183,338  328,426  44.19%
2020 R   107,589   88,134  195,723  54.97%

2022 D    99,514   67,665  167,179  59.53%
2022 R   108,219   85,172  188,391  57.44%

I stopped at 2012 because early voting was still pretty new and novel in 2008, and I didn’t need any more non-Presidential years so I skipped 2010. I have three thoughts about these numbers: One, Republicans generally vote more in primaries than Democrats, even as Democrats have been the bigger share of the November vote since 2016. Two, Republicans have voted more heavily in the EV period than Dems in two of the last three Presidential cycles, which I admit surprises me a little. Given the recent Republican push for Election Day voting only, we’ll see if that trend continues. And three, I’m shocked at how much of the vote has been on Election Day overall, especially in the Presidential years. Given the supersized share of early voting in November in recent years, this was not at all what I expected.

Now, none of this means I’m going to make a prediction about what final turnout will look like this year. I’ve learned that lesson. History suggests that half or more of the Dem vote will still be out as of Friday night. I have no idea what it will be this year, but if you want to guess that Tuesday will be about half the total, at least for Dems, I won’t shake my head at you. I just won’t join you out on that limb.

One more day to go, the busiest day of the EV period. I assume some number of you are saving yourselves for Tuesday, because past history clearly suggests a lot of folks do that. If you haven’t voted yet, when are you planning to do so?

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3 Responses to 2024 Primary Early Voting, Day Ten: Down to the wire

  1. Pingback: Final 2024 Primary Early Voting totals | Off the Kuff

  2. Pingback: One more look at primary turnout | Off the Kuff

  3. Pingback: Initial thoughts on the 2024 primary | Off the Kuff

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