Turnout for early voting exceeding 2014 totals in at least 27 states

Turnout for early voting exceeding 2014 totals in at least 27 states
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Early voter turnout in this year's midterm elections is surpassing early voting totals for the 2014 midterm election cycle in at least 27 states, according to the University of Florida Elections Project. 

The project noted that the states where early voter turnout is higher than 2014's early voter totals include Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., as first reported by CBS News. 

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CBS News notes that early voter turnout in Texas has surpassed the state's total turnout in the 2014 midterms. 

"In the last three decades, we've had about 40 percent of those eligible to vote participating in midterm elections," University of Florida associate professor Michael McDonald, who oversees the Election Project, told CBS News. "If we get in the upper end of that range, if we can beat the 1966 49 percent turnout rate, you'd have to go all the way back to 1914 to get a turnout rate above 50 percent."

More than 24 million votes had been counted as early or absentee nationwide as of Wednesday, according to NBC News. The news outlet noted that at the same time in 2014, less than 13 million early or absentee ballots had been counted. 

The news regarding early voting comes just days before what could be a key midterm election, as Democrats try to seize on opposition to President TrumpDonald John TrumpGeorge Conway: ‘Insane’ if Trump spoke to Cohen about testimony Fox’s Wallace to Pence: Is government shutdown all about ‘leverage?' Atlanta to commemorate renaming United Ave from Confederate Ave MORE to retake the House and possibly the Senate. 

Polls have shown Democrats have a solid chance of earning a majority in the lower chamber. Meanwhile, Republicans appear to be the favorites to hold onto their majority in the Senate. 

Many of the states that are experiencing surges in early voting have key elections this year. 

In Texas, Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeEx-Michelle Obama aide says O'Rourke's road trip is a 'listening tour' in form of a travel blog Howard Dean looking for a 'younger, newer' Democratic nominee in 2020 Former staffer accuses Jackson Lee of retaliation after rape claim MORE (D-Texas) is vying to unseat incumbent Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGroup aiming to draft Beto O’Rourke unveils first 2020 video Howard Dean looking for a 'younger, newer' Democratic nominee in 2020 Congress can stop the war on science MORE (R-Texas).  

States such as Florida and Georgia also have governor races that have gained national attention. Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeSchumer recruiting top-notch candidate for McCain Senate seat The Hill's Morning Report — Trump eyes wall money options as shutdown hits 21 days Poll: Sanders most popular senator, Flake least MORE (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerThe Memo: Romney moves stir worries in Trump World Senate GOP names first female members to Judiciary panel Former US special envoy to anti-ISIS coalition joins Stanford University as lecturer MORE's (R-Tenn.) retirement have also led to closely-watched races to replace them.