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13 days out Trump draws huge crowds, early voting shows Republicans doing very well in key states

by | Oct 23, 2018

By Dave Andrusko

Yesterday we posted about a Washington Post story that dramatically misrepresented the size of the crowds pro-life President Donald Trump is drawing and examined further the tightening of races across the country.

More good news today.

I’m from Minnesota so the race between pro-abortion Sen. Tina Smith (D) and pro-life Republican Jane Housely to serve out the remaining two years of the term of disgraced former Sen. Al Franken is of particular interest. Smith has the advantage of having served for a few months but the lead she’s enjoyed over Housley continues to shrink. (As an aside, Smith made a disastrous mistake when she cited a “scheduling conflict” to avoid a recent debate with Housely, a Republican state Senator.)

A new Star Tribune/MPR News Minnesota Poll has Smith up 47% to 41%. “Housley has gained new support from independent voters: 42 percent now back her, up from 33 percent in the poll last month,” according to Judy Keen.

Note: The Star Tribune’s polls are notoriously inaccurate which is why Democrats always fare better. (I wrote about that skewing of the numbers as far back as 1978 for a community newspaper.)

In addition, the latest polls in North Dakota have pro-life Republican Kevin Cramer leading pro-abortion Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp by 16 points, 56% to 40%. Kramer led by 10 points in September.

The big national news yesterday was “Republicans outpacing Democrats in early voting in key states, NBC News finds.” Here’s the lead paragraphs:

Is the “blue wave” turning purple?

Republican-affiliated voters have outpaced Democratic-affiliated voters in early voting in seven closely watched states, according to data provided by TargetSmart and independently analyzed by the NBC News Data Analytics Lab.

GOP-affiliated voters have surpassed Democratic-affiliated ones in early voting in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Montana, Tennessee and Texas, the data showed.

Only in Nevada have Democratic-affiliated voters exceeded Republican-affiliated voters so far in early voting, according to the data. …

The latest data suggests robust enthusiasm among early Republican voters that could put a dent in Democratic hopes for a “blue wave” in next month’s midterm elections.

Republicans typically dominate early voting by absentee ballots, while Democrats tend to have the advantage with in-person early voting. So, for example, the entire early voting picture in Florida, which has yet to begin in-person voting, is incomplete.

John Sexton pointed out the importance of that last paragraph:

It’s not just that the GOP is outpacing Dems in these states, it’s that early voting almost always favors Dems. The usual pattern is for Dems to run up a lead in early voting which the GOP has to overcome on election day. But that’s not what we’re seeing here.

Back for a moment to Nevada’s pro-life incumbent. Sen. Dean Heller had trailed, but is doing much better in recent polls. And President Trump was in Las Vegas this week and drew a huge crowd.

As Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey wrote Tuesday

The catalyst for this pessimism [on the part of Democrats of winning the seat] is the Emerson poll taken nearly two weeks ago. Heller had never trailed in the race outside the margin of error, but the last three polls in RCP’s [Real Clear Politics’] aggregation gave him a lead for the first time since July, and Emerson’s put him up by seven, 48/41.

More tomorrow.

Categories: Politics
Tags: election