Early voting doesn’t accurately predict how the election will play out. In 2012, for example, Republicans led in Pennsylvania and Colorado during early voting, but ended up losing once the final tallies were in. In the same election, Democrats won Maryland with 63 percent of the total votes – down from the 75 percent gained during early voting. But early voting, as FiveThirtyEight points out, does give us an idea about voter enthusiasm, as well as how strong a campaign’s ground game has been.
As we near the final stretch of the 2016 election, publications like Politico, the New York Times, and Fox News Latino point to a surge in Latino turnout during early voting. And some of it has to do with the way Hillary Clinton has campaigned, particularly in swing states. According to the London School of Economics and Political Science, Clinton used a 1980s Republican strategy to encourage voters to take full advantage of early voting.
“For in-person early voting, Clinton’s campaign is using large rallies in multiple locations featuring not only Clinton herself, but also high-profile figures like Elizabeth Warren, Michelle and Barack Obama, her husband, Bill Clinton, and her daughter, Chelsea, to turn out early voters,” LSE wrote. “After the rallies, supporters are walked to early voting polling places to cast their ballots.” Trump, on the other hand, has foregone more traditional ground game strategies, which may end up hurting him.
And while the election may not turn out in Clinton’s favor, here’s how the Latino vote stands on election eve and why Trump should feel shook:
Unlike other states, early voting numbers in Nevada are a good indicator of how election day will pan out. According to FiveThirtyEight, most people cast their votes early. About 70 percent of all Nevada citizens voted early in 2012. Reuters reports that while Nevada doesn’t track voters’ race or ethnicity, there are signs that the Latino population is turning out for Clinton. Clark County, which has a large Latino population, has seen a surge of Democrat voters.
Many are pointing to Cardenas Market – a Mexican supermarket in Las Vegas – as an example of Latino turnout in Nevada. On Friday, mostly Latino voters waited in line for up to two hours to cast their votes. The location even had to extend voting hours from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Trump needs Florida to get to 270 electoral votes. Throughout the election, Clinton and Trump have seen a tight race. In 2012, 4.7 million people voted early. This year, 6.4 million have either filled out a mail ballot or voted early in person. Almost a million of these voters are Latino, according to the Miami Herald. “We’re witnessing explosive early voting turnout of Hispanics – both those newly registered to vote as well as those who sat on the sidelines in 2012,” said Dan Smith, a University of Florida political science professor. With much of the surge coming from South Florida and Central Florida, Clinton seems poised to win the state.
As of this weekend, half of all registered Arizona voters had already cast their votes. And the Latino vote nearly doubled – rising from 6.2 percent to 12 percent – which may not entirely signify a win for Clinton, Quartz reports. As it stands, Donald Trump has more than a 70 percent chance of winning the state.
Nearly two times as many Latinos voted early in North Carolina this year than in 2012. In 2012, 21,474 Latinos voted early, but by the end of early voting, 37,591 cast their votes. According to CNN, “The Latino vote in North Carolina has a relatively small influence in the state, but has increased in voter turnout this year nonetheless. Early voting among Hispanics has increased 75 percent so far from 2012.”
At the beginning of the year, 92,000 Latinos were registered to vote. In 2012, 12,933 Latinos accounted for 0.9 percent of early voters. In 2016, the number has risen to 31,623 people – or 1.7 percent of all voters. This makes it a 144 percent increase in the last four years.