More than 17.5 million pre-election ballots cast with 11 days to go before midterms

By Melissa Holzberg DePalo and Ethan Cohen, CNNUpdated: Fri, 28 Oct 2022 16:26:43 GMTSource: CNNMore than 17.5 million pre-election ballots have been cast across 46 states as of Friday, according to d

By Melissa Holzberg DePalo and Ethan Cohen, CNN

Updated: Fri, 28 Oct 2022 16:26:43 GMT

Source: CNN

More than 17.5 million pre-election ballots have been cast across 46 states as of Friday, according to data from election officials, Edison Research and Catalist.

Pre-election voting turnout has kept pace with the 2018 midterm elections, but it's too early to tell if total election turnout will meet or outpace that year's record-breaking turnout, as the 2020 election cycle could have had significant impacts on voting habits.

Two states -- Florida and Texas -- have had more than 2 million ballots cast each. California has had almost 1.9 million ballots cast while more than 1.3 million have been cast in Georgia.

Some voter data comes from Catalist, a company that provides data, analytics and other services to Democrats, academics and nonprofit issue-advocacy organizations and is giving insights into who is voting before November.

Unlike in most battleground states this cycle, Republicans in Florida have cast more votes so far this year than Democrats, according to data from the Florida Department of State.

Some Florida counties have begun early in-person voting this week, but all counties are required to start by Saturday.

While it's a narrow margin -- Florida Republicans have cast 41% of the pre-election ballots to Democrats' 40% -- it's a reversal from this point two years ago, when Republicans had cast 35% of pre-election ballots and Democrats had cast 43%, according to Catalist.

However, it is a return to the 2018 pattern, when Republicans in Florida held a 43% to 39% advantage over Democrats in pre-election ballots cast at this point in the cycle.

That year, Floridians narrowly elected Republican Ron DeSantis as governor while outgoing GOP Gov. Rick Scott ousted Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, also by a close margin. DeSantis is seeking a second term this year while the state's senior senator, Republican Marco Rubio, is running for a third term. Both are favored to win their races next month.

Nevada's pre-election votes tell a different story.

Democrats have cast 42% of the pre-election ballots so far, to Republicans' 35%, according to Catalist.

In 2018, Republicans in the Silver State held the narrow advantage at this point in the cycle with 41% of the ballot cast to Democrats' 40%.

Nevada is playing host to a number of competitive races this year -- with Republicans targeting Gov. Steve Sisolak, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and three Democratic members of the US House.

The pre-election data isn't predictive of ultimate outcomes. In recent years, Democrats have been more likely to vote before Election Day while Republicans have preferred to vote on Election Day.

In Pennsylvania, where Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz are facing off in one of the most competitive Senate contests in the country, pre-election voting by party is similar to two years ago.

Republicans have cast 20% of pre-election ballots -- the same percentage they made up at this point in 2020 -- and Democrats have cast 72%, up just slightly from their 71% share at this point two years ago.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are scheduled to make a rare joint appearance on the campaign trail Friday evening in Philadelphia as they seek to boost Pennsylvania Democrats in the closing stretch of the election.

In Georgia, data shows that the pre-election voting population is older than it was in 2020.

Voters aged 22 to 29 have cast just 4% of the pre-election ballots. At this point in the cycle in 2020, they made up 7% of pre-election ballots cast.

Those aged 30 to 39 have cast 8% of the pre-election ballots, down from 10% at this point in 2020. Eleven percent of those who have cast a ballot in Georgia are between 30 and 49; two years ago, that age bracket held a 13% share.

Thirty-two percent of those who have cast a pre-election ballot in the Peach State are aged 50 to 64, up from 29% in 2020, and 43% are 65 or older, up from 38% at this point in 2020.

Biden, in 2020, became the first Democratic presidential nominee to carry Georgia since Bill Clinton in 1992. The state also elected two Democratic senators -- Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock -- in runoff elections in January 2021. Warnock is seeking a full six-year term next month against Republican Herschel Walker in a race that could decide control of the US Senate. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp is also on the ballot as he bids for a second term against Democrat Stacey Abrams in a rematch from 2018.