Statewide Early Voting Numbers Are Starting with a Bang

early voting

In the first two days of early voting there are signs that turnout may be higher than normal in both the Democratic and Republican primaries. Early voting started on Friday and continued on Saturday, though the locations and schedule for the Saturday voting was limited in several counties. Additionally, some counties have only reported their Friday totals at this point.

Nevertheless, 30,262 votes have already been cast in the Republican Primary and 12,205 in the Democratic Primary. Early voting continues until July 28 with Election Day on August 2.

There were 668,039 total GOP Senate Primary votes cast in August 2014.  That election featured a contested primary between Senator Lamar Alexander (331,705 votes) and Joe Carr (271,324). Alexander prevailed by a closer than expected 49-40% margin. A third Republican, Dr. George Flinn received a little over 34,000 total votes. That race may give guidance in predicting final turnout as we move through the early voting period.

Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill expects the turnout to increase dramatically over the next few weeks.

“Not only do we have a hotly contested Republican Primary for Governor, in which we will see perhaps $10 million in spending in the next few weeks alone, but also a contested race for Governor on the Democratic side as well, though Karl Dean is expected to defeat Craig Fitzhugh by a significant margin,” Gill says. “We also have heavily contested Republican congressional primaries in the 2nd, 6th and 8th districts as well as several State House and Senate primaries in both parties. Finally, there are still pockets of contested general elections for county offices ranging from County Mayor, County Sheriff, and Commission races. We are looking at turnout being driven both top down as well as bottom up.”

Gill adds that he anticipates that the last week of early voting will be particularly heavy. “The schedule of our primary date in Tennessee hits as families are squeezing in a final vacation before school starts, so not only will late deciders wait until the end of July but we will also see people who will be out of town on August 2 getting their vote in early.”

In recent years, the split of total votes during the early voting period and Election Day has been a pretty even in many cases. Political observers will be watching the numbers closely over the next two weeks as they seek to discern whether their turnout models are tracking or not.












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3 Thoughts to “Statewide Early Voting Numbers Are Starting with a Bang”

  1. 83ragtop50

    I wonder what the cost per vote in campaigning expenses will be for this election cycle. Only the elite class millionaires can afford to buy an election these days. So sad.

  2. Kevin

    The Republican Party should be helping to fund Craig Fitzhugh and keeping that race a contest. A contested Democratic primary keeps the Dems from crossing over. Illegal immigration comes in many forms!

    Close the Primaries!

    1. Stuart I. Anderson

      In re: closing the primaries, Beth Harwell showed her lack of imagination at a particularly bad time. She had to know the centrist establishment was going to support Randy! so during the last session of the General Assembly she should have joined Glen Casada and made a big deal of at least trying to push through Glen’s bill to close the primaries.

      Can you imagine the reaction of conservatives if she succeeded after so many years of trying? She would have been carried out of the General Assembly on the backs of conservatives as a conquering heroine, especially after Mae Beavers dropped out, and she would have greatly increased her chances in this gubernatorial race. Instead, she did what she did all too often as Speaker, she showed herself to be nothing more than another errand girl for the centrist establishment who in turn has little use for her any more.

      Please pass her by conservatives, she’s simply not going to win and she has shown no compelling reason why she should win. There is a more strategic use for your votes for the candidate most like to defeat Randy! in the ANYBODY BUT BOYD movement.