Misleading Coverage of Early Voter Statistics

Stories like this CNN piece about early voting habits are getting caught in the fallacy of assuming that voting in the presidential election will break along party registration lines. So they’re reporting, for example, that in Arizona 164,000 Democrats have cast early falling-salesballots compared to 160,000 Republicans. But that’s almost meaningless, given the rupture in the Republican party over Trump. A YUGE number of those Republicans could very well be voting for Hillary Clinton or lodging protest votes for 3rd party candidates. After all the very conservative Arizona Republic newspaper endorsed Clinton, the first time the paper has ever endorsed a Democrat for president. They can hardly be alone. I bet the real numbers are much worse than the horse race stats imply.

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