WASHINGTON -- In a memo being sent to "interested parties" on Wednesday, the Democratic National Committee argues, again, that the early voting data so far in the 2010 elections debunks the notion that they face an enthusiasm gap.
The committee put out a detailed communiqué that (naturally) sounds a very optimistic note but advances the early vote argument in a bit more specific and detailed fashion than it has in the past. When looking at the early voting rates of traditionally passive voters -- in addition to the aggregate totals -- Democrats are holding their own against or even besting Republicans.
"We are winning. In key states, such as NV, IA, CA, WI, WA, IL and WV, Democrats are outpacing Republicans in early vote. In other states, such as CO, Democrats tend to cast votes later than Republicans (as they did in 2008), and we are confident that margin will close," the memo reads.
"The Republican 'surge'/'wave' has not materialized in early vote, and it's not going to. When we look at early vote results by distinct vote history levels (mid-term voters / presidential-year only voters), Democratic early voting is comparable, and often higher, than Republican voting."
The data is based, in part, upon numbers the DNC collected from individual races. So the points should be taken with a grain of salt -- viewed, perhaps skeptically, as an attempt by the committee to change the late-stage narrative and give the party hope.
But the metrics do seem more honest than other analyses of early voting trends. "A more accurate 'enthusiasm benchmark,'" the DNC is arguing, is to see whether or not those individuals who aren't expected to vote are actually voting. In other words, look at the turnout of sporadic Republicans versus that of Sporadic Democrats. In some states and by some definitions, the party is lagging (for instance, Wisconsin voters whose first dalliance in electoral politics was 2008). But in more cases than not, Democrats enjoy healthy margins.
The DNC Memo is pasted below: