Early voting update: Nearly 2M votes already cast in Virginia
Just short of 2 million votes have already been cast in the 2020 election in Virginia, either through early voting or mail-in ballots that have been received at voting offices across the Commonwealth.
This from an analysis of data from the Virginia Public Access Project, following the first of two days of Saturday in-person early voting over the weekend.
In-person early voting continues through this coming Saturday across the state.
The total number of votes cast, as of the start of business on Monday, was 1,951,638, representing 33.1 percent of 5,896,141 million Virginians who are registered to vote, according to the Virginia Department of Elections.
For another frame of reference: there were 3,984,631 votes cast in Virginia in the 2016 presidential election.
The total already cast in the 2020 election cycle, eight days out from Election Day, would represent 49.0 percent of the total cast in 2016.
The trend continues to be strong early turnout in Democratic-rich voting areas in Northern Virginia, Central Virginia and Hampton Roads.
Which is important to note because: the polling is strongly favoring the Dems.
The most recent polling done in Virginia, from the Washington Post, from Oct. 13-19, has Joe Biden leading Donald Trump in the presidential race by 11 points, and has Mark Warner with a comfortable 18-point lead on Republican challenger Daniel Gade.
The more votes that get locked in, the more inevitable the situation becomes.
The highest locked-in early vote rates right now are in Arlington County (46.0 percent of registered voters have already voted in person or by mail) and Alexandria (44.0 percent).
Other Northern Virginia localities with strong early turnout include Loudoun County (39.0 percent), Prince William County (38.5 percent) and Fairfax County (36.1 percent).
Frame of reference time here: Fairfax County is home to 13.1 percent of all registered voters in the Commonwealth, went for Hillary Clinton by a 36-point margin in 2016, and her vote total there was 17.9 percent of her overall votes statewide in a five-point win in Virginia four years ago.
Albemarle County and Charlottesville are both at 40.7 percent early voting and mail-in ballot turnout.
Norfolk (30.0 percent), Richmond (29.9 percent) and Newport News (28.4 percent) are trailing the state average, but still very much in range.
Story by Chris Graham