More than 42 million people have voted early this year, including a record 6.4 million in Florida and a soaring number of Latinos, signs that bode well for Hillary Clinton one day before Election Day.
Meanwhile, the data suggest close races in other key battleground states such as North Carolina, Iowa, and Colorado.
A last-minute surge in Latino voters boosted the numbers in Florida, which saw more than 1.5 million early votes more than it did in 2012, according to United States Elections Project, run by University of Florida professor Michael McDonald.
Many of the Latino early voters in Florida were first-time voters, and the data are cause for concern for Trump. According to Bloomberg, just 12.5% of the 30,000 Floridians who registered to vote last month are Republicans.
“Since Thursday, there has been no day when the electorate has been more than 61% white,” said Steve Schale, a former campaign adviser to President Barack Obama in Florida. “This is the Clinton recipe for winning.”
Florida is a critical state for Republican nominee Donald Trump, who has virtually no credible paths to the White House without its 29 electoral votes. Clinton and Trump are neck and neck there, according to a RealClearPolitics average of recent polls.
Daniel A. Smith, a University of Florida professor who runs the politics blog ElectionSmith, painted an equally grim picture for Trump in the Sunshine State. The Latino turnout for early voting alone this year is likely to exceed the entire Latino vote from 2012, Smith said.
The picture seems a little brighter for Trump in North Carolina, where early voting ended on Saturday. According to CNN, Democratic turnout was down from 2012, while Republican turnout increased by 125,000. Although more Democrats voted early in general, it may not be enough to hold off Trump on Election Day, when North Carolina Republicans turn out in heavier forces.
The deciding factor in North Carolina may be independents — more than 800,000 unaffiliated voters came out for early voting this year, a 42% increase from 2012, CNN reported.
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