Based on the latest available data, some analysts are saying that the "surprising" number of Democrats who've chosen to vote early may give their party reason to be hopeful about the midterms. As of yesterday, more Democrats than Republicans had turned up to vote in Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Clark County, Nevada. But Republican turnout was greater in Florida and Colorado, as well as Washoe, Nevada. Do these early results suggest that the election will be closer than expected?

Good news for the Democrats: Despite talk of an "enthusiasm gap," says Michael P. McDonald in The Huffington Post, the Democrats are "off to a jack-rabbit start" in some key states, and more or less keeping the pace with Republicans elsewhere. "This race ain't over yet."
"Early voting: over one million served"

Perhaps, but there's plenty of bad news: These aren't the only numbers out there, says Don Surber at the Charleston Daily Mail. A Pew Poll found that the Republicans have a 16-point lead in the Midwest, and a 22-point advantage among white voters nationwide. The two parties may be "split evenly in early voting," but "remember the story of the Tortoise and the Hare."
"Poll: Republicans ahead in the ground game"

Early voting is a bad idea, period: There's something "unsettling" about voters making their minds up weeks before Election Day, says Bob Barr at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. What happens if their candidate makes a "serious blunder," or changes his or her tune on a key campaign pledge? We shouldn't opt for "greater convenience" over making an informed vote. "If you ask me, early voting is a dumb idea."
"Early voting is a dumb idea"