JMC Analytics noted that the likely conservative vote dominated the first days of the early vote with the more liberal vote making a greater impact later in the period.
What it also means is that based upon the history of this pattern, it is critical for candidates to respect the early voting phenomena in the “get-out-the-vote” campaigns.
Here is the link to the complete analysis and below are some of the nuggets from the JMC analysis:
As of last night, a record 307,237 have either early voted by person or by mail in ballot (271,181 in person, and 36,056 mail in ballots). To put this number in perspective, this is the highest early voting turnout EVER for a non-Presidential election, and this figure even surpassed the 292,213 who early/absentee voted in the 2008 Presidential election (which at that time was a record). In fact, only twice has there been a higher early/absentee voting turnout: the 2016 Presidential election (531,555 early votes) and the 2012 Presidential election (356,603 early votes).
Republicans early, Democrats later
In other words, just as conservatives were energized by external events (Kavanaugh hearings and reports of robust early voting across the country), local reports of high early voting turnout were played up in the news media, and arguably put the election on the Democrats’ radar as well.
The top three early voting parishes were East Baton Rouge (29,669 early/absentee votes), Orleans (28,173), and St Tammany (25,818).
Why does early voting matter? When the Legislature essentially established “no fault” early voting more than a decade ago, you now have a noticeable (and increasing) constituency of people who prefer the convenience of early voting, and this constituency has for six times in a row (the 2015 primary, 2015 runoff, 2016 Presidential elections, December 2016 runoff, October 2017 primary, and November 2017 runoff) exceeded 20%. Politicians and political consultants would be foolish to ignore this many “up front” voters, especially in a closely contested race. Also, too, early voting numbers are the first ones that are typically reported after polls have closed at 8 PM.