Decision 2015: Early Voting “Postgame Report”

In person early voting has concluded. Here’s what the numbers tell us about next Saturday’s primary:

(1) Lower turnout than last year’s election: 222,162 have early or absentee voted as of yesterday. This volume is 6% lower than it was at the end of in person early voting for the November 2014 primary (236,088 early/absentee voted then);

(2) Moderate Democratic intensity: There were “spikes” in Democratic voting activity on the first and last Saturday of early voting, but in general, the intensity wasn’t present like it was in 2012 or 2014. In the end, the racial composition was 71-27% white/black and 50-36% Democrat/Republican. In last year’s Senate primary, the racial composition was 65-33% white/black and 53-34% Democrat/Republican, and in that election, Democratic operatives were successful in their efforts to get a strong Democratic early vote for former senator Mary Landrieu;

In conclusion, what do the early voting numbers tell us about projected voter turnout ? At this point, we think turnout will be in the 44-54% range, with the likelihood that it will be closer to 44% (for context, October 2011 turnout was 37%, while it was 52% in the November 2014 primary.)