Black vote declining with 24.4 million ballots cast

The trend is also evident in early vote data from other swing states that could play key roles in deciding the election, including Florida and Georgia. Two states that the Democratic presidential nominee must win are North Carolina and Florida, which her campaign describes as checkmate states.

Over four million Floridians have voted in the 2016 election with only a week to go until Election Day, and Hispanics are strongly outperforming their 2012 numbers while black voters are trailing behind. Figures from the Secretary of State's office show 45 percent of the state's voters are registered Democrat, 31 percent Republican, 21 percent have no party affiliation (independent), while the remaining three percent are Libertarian, Mountain Party or other. That difference means the GOP's 10% edge in 2012 is a 4% edge now, with more than 1 million ballots cast.

The latest registration numbers show a 6.3 percent increase - or 10,284 more voters - among Democrats from August 1 through October 18 in the 7 Congressional District.

Almost 1.8 million Floridian took advantage of early-voting sites across the state in the first week the voting option was available, according to numbers posted early Monday by the state Division of Elections. The white vote has remained about 72%. At one point, the number of voters in the county was off 85 percent compared with the same day in 2012.

In Florida, the good news for Clinton is that the two most Latino counties in the state, Miami-Dade and Osceola, are above the state average in their progress toward exceeding 2012 early/vote-by-mail turnout. "The early vote data suggest that black turnout might recede somewhat in 2016 while Latino turnout surges", early voting expert Barry Burden, a political scientist with the University of Wisconsin Madison, said. So far, many of those unaffiliated voters have been young people and women - traditionally Democratic voting blocs. They cast about 421,000 early and absentee ballots as of Monday morning, accounting for 55 percent of the total early ballots that black voters cast in 2012, AIF's analysis shows.

The latest voter registration numbers provide more evidence of the Democratic Party slide in West Virginia. "Individuals who cast an early ballot make up their minds early", he says.

Overall turnout in Nevada lags behind 2012 - with 420,000 ballots cast so far in 2016, compared to 460,000 at this point four years ago. Democrats are planning an aggressive final push, including a visit by President Obama to the state on Wednesday.

Democrats lead by about 32,000 votes - 7.5 points ahead of Republicans, roughly where they were in 2012.

GOP officials will be discussing their take on the early voting numbers later Tuesday. Republican leaders are no longer resigned to surrendering the state's most southern counties to Democrats. And as Politico also notes, a barrage of political celebrities are coming to the state in the next few days, and a host of outreach efforts and events are in the works, to try to make that happen.

"In 2008 and 2012 black voter turnout rose enough to erase the gap in participation between blacks and whites". Many North Carolina counties will expand their in-person early voting polling locations the week before the election.

Republicans continue to outperform their results from 2008, the a year ago with comparable results.

"It is quite hard to discern what the election results will be from early voting numbers", Burden said. There are some signs that the drop-off has been heavier in Democratic-leaning counties, bad news for Clinton.

  • Joanne Flowers