Republicans both ahead, and behind, in early ballots for Kelly v. Barber

| May 26 2012
Christopher Cook

Rebekah Sanders at AZ Central has the story:

Southern Arizona voters are sending in early ballots faster than ever in the special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. And registered Republicans are slightly edging out Democrats in total ballots returned.

And the numbers:

In all, 187,614 early ballots were sent out in Pima County, with 71,478 returned. Congressional District 8 draws the largest amount of voters from Pima County, with additional voters in Cochise, Pinal and Santa Cruz counties.

Here is a breakdown of Pima County ballots returned by party:

  • Democratic: 17,250 ballots returned of 65,887 ballots mailed, for a 26 percent return rate.
  • Republican: 17,645 ballots returned of 71,810 ballots mailed, for a 24 percent return rate.
  • Green: 60 ballots returned of 347 ballots mailed, for a 17 percent return rate.
  • Libertarian: 160 ballots returned of 996 ballots mailed, for a 16 percent return rate.
  • Independents/Other: 10,295 ballots returned of 48,739 ballots mailed, for a 21 percent return

The Pima County numbers show that Republicans are slightly ahead in totals, but they are behind by 2 points in terms of return rate. That means that, in Pima County at least, Democrats are slightly more energized than Republicans so far. Not knowing where indies are going to go for this race, it’s rather hard to predict which direction this is headed, but it’s probably going to be close.

Republicans in Pima County and elsewhere in the district should, if they’d like to see Kelly win, consider upping their enthusiasm to a number higher than the Democrats’. A slight registration advantage in the district, on its own, in not enough to guarantee victory.

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