Ellison’s Must Read of the Day

Ellison must read

My must read of the day is "Democrats in Arkansas feel good about their early voting numbers. Republicans feel even better," in the Washington Post:

Democrats have pushed early voting, and it seems to be working. It's up about 50 percent in Pulaski County when compared with 2010, and it's also up in other strongly Democratic counties like Phillips, Jefferson, and Jackson. In Cammack Village, three of the five people who were home and answered the door while Nelson was canvassing said they already voted.

But Republicans appear to be doing even better. Among Republican critical counties like Perry, Van Buren, and Independence, early voting is up 76 percent, compared with 48 percent in critical Democratic ones.

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Tonight is supposed to be a good night for Republicans when it comes to control of the Senate. I think it will be and most election analysts would agree, but in many states the polls are so close that it’s difficult to guess exactly how good of a night it will be for Republicans.

Republicans are expected to easily pick up seats currently held by Democrats in West Virginia, South Dakota, and Montana. The next most likely pick up seems to be Arkansas.

When I spoke to Republican sources on the ground, they told me they feel confident about picking up this seat, but also don’t want to be presumptuous because, as we know, anything can happen on election day.

Republican Rep. Tom Cotton is up by an average of 7 points and the most recent polling suggests momentum is swinging his way.

Northwest Arkansas is a conservative strong hold and Republicans say they targeted it early with the goal of increasing turnout in that area. Sources on the ground tell me that high turnout in the Northwest is the Republican’s path to victory.

That said, pay attention to turnout in the Northwest tonight, and outside of that watch Jefferson and Pulaski County.

If Sen. Mark Pryor comes from behind and holds on to his seat, sources tell me it would only happen with incredibly high turnout in Jefferson and Pulaski County—but right now, when you compare early voting returns in the Northwest to places like Jefferson or Pulaski, Republicans clearly have the advantage here.