Turnout high in midterm elections as 11 more states open early voting

Eleven states and the District of Columbia will begin early voting this
week, including those with some of the hottest Senate and gubernatorial
races of the midterm vote.

In Florida, where Republican Gov. Rick Scott is trying to unseat
Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, some county polls opened even earlier
than the state's scheduled opening date. Early voting in Florida must
start by Saturday, but individual counties were allowed to open several
days earlier.

Early voting sites in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties opened
Monday at 7 a.m., as did other large-population voting areas -- Fort
Myers, Jacksonville, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee and Tampa.

Florida has also its first black nominee for governor from a major party
in Democrat Andrew Gillum, who is facing former Rep. Ron DeSantis to
replace Scott.

Arkansas, Alaska, Idaho, Massachusetts and Texas also opened their polls
for early voting Monday. They will be followed by Hawaii, Louisiana and
Utah on Tuesday; West Virginia on Wednesday; Maryland Thursday and the
District of Columbia Friday.

Kansas and Oklahoma will start early voting next week.

A large swath of states -- including Arizona, California, Georgia,
Virginia, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina,
South Dakota, and Tennessee -- have been voting early for weeks.

Voters camped out in Miami and Houston to be among the first to cast ballots on Monday.

Texas has one of the country's hottest races with Republican Sen. Ted
Cruz facing a challenge from Rep. Beto O'Rourke. President Donald Trump
was scheduled to stump for Cruz in a Houston rally Monday evening.

Tennessee, which started early voting last week, saw nearly four times
more voters than the first day of the 2014 midterms. That was 120,893
voters total, including absentee-by-mail and votes made at nursing

They will vote for who will replace retiring GOP Sen. Bob Corker: GOP
Rep. Marsha Blackburn or Democrat Phil Bredesen, a former two-term
governor, as well as choose a new governor to replace Bill Haslam. That
contest is between former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, a Democrat, and
Republican businessman Bill Lee.

In Nevada, which opened polls Saturday, Democrats appeared to have the
enthusiasm edge. In Las Vegas's Clark County, a record number of voters
cast their ballots on the first day, giving Democrats an early lead in
the swing state.

GOP Sen. Dean Heller, for whom Trump has campaigned, fighting a challenge from Democrat Rep. Jacky Rosen,

Nevada political expert John Ralston wrote on his blog those numbers
already make 2018 significantly different from the last midterm.

"Turnout in Clark County was near presidential year levels," Ralston
wrote. "So the Democrats, who need to build a firewall in Clark, have a
4,500-vote lead. In contrast, in 2014, that lead after the first day was
nonexistent, signaling a red wave."

Democratic voters even outpaced Republicans in red-leaning Washoe County, government data showed.


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