More than 10 million people have cast mail-in ballots ahead of the November 2022 midterms, according to an election monitoring project.
The project is managed by University of Florida professor Michael McDonald and it tracks early voting activity among states that have reported data so far. Texas, California, Florida, and Georgia have reported more than 1.5 million in-person and mail-in votes as of Thursday afternoon, the project numbers show.
“It does seem very robust, early voting … I think we’re looking at more like a 2018 election, definitely,” McDonald told ABC News on Monday, referring to the high turnout.
Over three dozen states have already started early voting. For the 2022 midterms, early voting phases range from 46 days to three days before Election Day, says the National Conference of State Legislatures.
“Congratulations, Georgia voters! We’ve reached 1 MILLION cast votes. Election officials deserve our thanks for rising to the challenge & working hard to serve our communities,” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday night.
Georgia has two key races, including for the U.S. Senate and governor’s office. Incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) is facing off against former NFL star and Republican Herschel Walker, while Gov. Brian Kemp is facing a rematch with Democrat activist Stacey Abrams.
Starting Thursday, meanwhile, early polling places across Maryland are slated to open, according to its governor.
Republicans are favored by analysts and betting oddsmakers to win the House in the Nov. 8 elections, buoyed by frustration over the lackadaisical economy and decades-high inflation. Democrats are attempting to hold their ground and are heavily relying on campaign messaging around abortion.
If Republicans take just five seats, they can win back the House. In recent decades, the party that has held the White House has lost congressional seats during midterm elections.
And should the GOP prevail in the lower chamber, members of the Republican caucus would elect a new House speaker. They will also run each House committee and decide what bills will make it to the House floor. It’s also likely that the Democrat-dominated House Jan. 6 select committee, which has two Republicans who will not be reelected during the midterms, will come to an end.
Republicans also only need to secure one net seat to take control of the Senate, which currently stands at 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as a tie-breaker. If the GOP takes control of that chamber, Republicans could easily stymie President Joe Biden’s agenda and could block or delay the passage of bills as well as Biden’s executive branch and judicial nominees.