With eight days to go until Election Day, 58 million voters have cast ballots early, surpassing the total number in 2016 by more than 8 million, according to NBC News Decision Desk/Target Smart.
The number of early voters could hit 90 to 100 million before Nov. 3 — roughly twice the 50 million who did so in 2016, the Decision Desks projects. TargetSmart is a Democratic political data firm that provides voting data to NBC News.
In critical swing states, expanded early voting and vote-by-mail options have led to a large increase in pre-election voting. In battleground Pennsylvania, about 1.4 million have cast early or absentee votes so far, an increase of more than 1.2 million from the total early votes cast in the Keystone State in 2016.
For more on this story, watch Lester Holt’s first installment of his Across America series from Las Vegas on Nightly News at 6:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. CT.
That narrative is echoed in swing states Michigan and Wisconsin, where this year’s early voting total has already nearly doubled the total early votes cast in all of 2016. President Donald Trump’s narrow victories in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin allowed him to win the White House in 2016.
Meanwhile, other in-play states like Texas, Georgia and Ohio have already surpassed the total number of early votes cast in their states last cycle. In Texas, where more than 6.9 million people have already voted, there has been an increase of about 1.4 million additional votes compared to 2016 More than 40 percent of the state’s electorate has already cast their ballot.
In North Carolina, Texas, Florida, Georgia and Arizona — which have all been hotly contested this cycle — more voters have so far cast early ballots than the total who voted there for Trump or 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton last time around.
Polling has shown that the early vote has split overwhelmingly for 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, while Trump maintains a substantial advantage with those who have yet to vote.
Polling released Sunday by CBS News/YouGov showed that in Florida, 61 percent of those who already voted backed Biden while 37 percent backed Trump. In North Carolina, that split was 61 percent to 36 percent while in Georgia it was 55 percent to 43 percent.
On the flip side, those who have yet to vote in those states backed Trump over Biden by a 59 percent to 40 percent split in Florida, a 58 percent to 41 percent split in North Carolina and a 54 percent to 44 percent split in Georgia.
A University of Wisconsin Elections Research Center/YouGov poll of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin released Monday showed similar trends. Biden was overwhelmingly winning among those who already voted, while Trump held a substantial, but somewhat smaller, advantage among those who had yet to vote.