Today in the Morning Line:
- 43 states have some form of early voting
- What mail ballots could say about the N.C. Senate race
- About one-in-five expected to vote early
- More fundraising for President Obama
Early voting underway: With less than a month to go until Election Day, we, at Morning Line, starting with yesterday’s look at ad spending, will be focusing on the nuts and bolts of the campaign and what matters in the midterms. We’ll leave Ebola and wars for others to analyze for now. This morning’s midterm look is at early voting. Increasingly, more and more states are moving toward some form of early voting. In all, 43 states have some form of early voting, and Connecticut, one of the seven states that still does not allow it, has an initiative on the ballot this year to change that. As of today, early in-person voting is already underway in 10 states, including Iowa with its all-important Senate race, which began last week, Sept. 25. Two more states begin voting today — Ohio and Indiana. Arizona — with its key House races — and Georgia — with its closely watched Senate race — will begin voting within the next week.
Democrats doing better than 2010 in N.C. mail ballots: Absentee ballots have gone out already in 43 states, including in North Carolina, where mail-in votes and requests are being closely watched for what they’ll mean for the U.S. Senate race. Professor Michael Bitzer of Catawba College, who runs the Old North State Politics blog about North Carolina, analyzed the data and found: “Requests from registered Democrats make up 41 percent of the 24,765, with registered Republicans at 35 percent and registered unaffiliated voters at 24 percent. At this point in 2010, Republicans were 47 percent, Democrats were 34 percent, and unaffiliated voters were 20 percent.”
— Dr. Michael Bitzer (@CatawbaPolitics) October 6, 2014
Early voter turnout expected to be about 20 percent: Though more states are turning to early voting as a way to alleviate poll-line backups, there have also been states that have tightened early voting times. Turnout expert Michael McDonald told NewsHour’s Andrew Troast that about 20 percent of 2014 midterm voters will likely vote early, lower than the 30 percent that voted that way in the 2012 presidential election. (Check the NewsHour website for more on early voting from Andrew later today.)
Early in-person voting schedule:
Sept. 20: New Jersey (some counties), South Carolina, and Vermont.
Sept. 25: Iowa and Wyoming
Oct. 3: Maine
Oct. 4: Nebraska
Oct. 6: California
Oct. 7: Indiana and Ohio
Oct. 9: Arizona
Oct. 13: Georgia
Oct. 15: Tennessee and Kansas
Oct. 17: Kentucky
Oct. 18: Nevada and New Mexico
Oct. 20: Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Texas, and Wisconsin
Oct. 21: Louisiana and Utah
Oct. 22: West Virginia
Oct. 23: Maryland and North Carolina
Oct. 25: Florida
Oct. 30: Oklahoma
The president’s day: We noted on Monday that Democrats were outspending Republicans in their “firewall” states and that was partially because of the money President Obama has been able to raise for them. Tuesday afternoon, the president is on the money trail again, attending two separate Democratic National Committee fundraisers in New York. At 6:35 p.m. ET, the president will attend a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fundraising event in Greenwich, Conn.
Daily Presidential Trivia: On this day in 1993, President Clinton sent more troops, heavy armor, and naval firepower to Somalia. What was the military intervention in response to? Be the first to tweet us the correct answer using #PoliticsTrivia and you’ll get a Morning Line shout-out. Congratulations to Yvonne Gibney (@Lillyvonne228) for guessing Monday’s trivia: When is the last time the pope visited the White House? The answer was: in 2008, Pope Benedict XIV visited President George W. Bush.
- The Supreme Court decided to not take up any of the gay marriage cases this term, clearing the way for same-sex couples to marry in Virginia, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Utah and Indiana. NewsHour’s Gwen Ifill sat down with Marcia Coyle of The National Law Journal for a closer look at the court’s surprising decision. Gwen Ifill also spoke with Austin Nimocks of Alliance Defending Freedom and Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry about the significance of the decision.
- Weddings for gay couples began yesterday in the five states. Earlier this year, same-sex marriage was briefly legal in Indiana, until a circuit court issued an emergency order to stop gay marriages, and in Utah, before the Supreme Court stayed the decision.
- President Obama announced Monday that the U.S. will increase efforts to screen for the Ebola virus at airports. NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown spoke with Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health Monday about the screening process and the use of experimental drugs to treat the virus.
- The latest Bluegrass poll shows Alison Lundergan Grimes ahead of Mitch McConnell 46-44 percent.
- A Loras College poll shows Joni Ernst and Bruce Braley tied with 42 percent each.
- The Hill reports that the NRSC is pulling out of Michigan.
- Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., leads his Republican opponent Ed Gillespie by 12 percent among likely voters, according to the new Christopher Newport University poll. Gillespie and Warner will face off for their second debate Tuesday night; it will be moderated by NBC’s Chuck Todd.
- Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., and Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., accused each other of being too extreme during a debate Monday night.
- House Majority PAC, a super PAC that supports Democrats running in House races, released new ads in six races across the country this week.
- At the same time the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is cancelling airtime reservations in a number of races in California, New York and Pennsylvania, among others.
- The Veterans Affairs Department announced it is firing four executives in response to the scandal that has plagued the agency since April of this year.
- Americans for Prosperity, the conservative political advocacy group, is working on its ground game by keeping operatives in key states well past election day.
- The Secret Service has come under fire recently for failing to protect the president and his family at the White House, but the majority of the threats to Mr. Obama’s safety are online.
- A House Republican candidate is using the beheading of American James Foley in an ad.
- President Obama endorsed Muriel Bowser, the frontrunner in the D.C. mayoral race.
- Iowa Rep. Steve King has released a parody of comedian Jimmy Kimmel’s “Mean Tweets” segment.
- Keep an eye on the Rundown blog for breaking news throughout the day, our home page for show segments, and follow @NewsHour for the latest.
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) October 7, 2014
Kremlin clothes. The Autumn Collection. pic.twitter.com/BSA8Ooc4oq
— Steve Rosenberg (@BBCSteveR) October 7, 2014
For more political coverage, visit our politics page.
Sign up here to receive the Morning Line in your inbox every morning.
Questions or comments? Email Domenico Montanaro at dmontanaro-at-newshour-dot-org or Rachel Wellford at rwellford-at-newshour-dot-org.
Follow the politics team on Twitter: