Mail-in ballot count begins

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – There are eleven days left before election night, and mail ballots continue to come into the registrar’s office. 884,000 ballots were sent out, and as of yesterday, 143,000 have been returned.

How many people have voted, what their party registration is, and how these ballots are trending for the candidates in the top two local races have all become known.

Republican voters tend to be white, older and high prosperity voters who cast ballots in all elections, especially low turn out elections.

Vince Vasquez, a senior analyst at National University’s Think Tank says these older Republicans are shrinking but still out-performing Democrats.

“They make up less half the electorate. We’re looking at maybe 35% to 40%, but in both of these races they’re over 70% of the ballots that have been cast,” said Vasquez.

More than 800,000 have been sent out, and as of Thursday, 143,000 have been returned, and they show Republicans continuing to lead in mail ballots turned in.

“For them to be continuing to hold the lead so far, this close to the election is actually good news for Chris Cate and Carl DeMaio,” said Vasquez.

Those are the races in the 6th Council District, and the 52nd Congressional District, respectively.

These older voters make up only 39% of the registration but they are 72% of the ballots cast so far.

But expect a large number of ballots to come in the next week and, perhaps, change the demographics.

“If we are in the same position, however, where we’re at in terms of these numbers, about 3 out of 4 ballots being cast by voters 55 and older, 40% or so ballots cast by Republicans, I would say that Chris Cate’s campaign and Carl DeMaio’s campaign are in very good shape,” said Vasquez.

Then there is the Obama factor that is energized Republicans.

“Not only in those pivotal Senate races or Congressional races, but nationwide there really is high enthusiasm about taking the country back. I think that’s fueling some of that here in San Diego,” said Vasquez.

There is nothing on the ballot to really draw voters, especially Democrats, to the polls.

These factors could spell trouble for Carol Kim’s race, and Scott Peters’ re-election.

“On a core level you need your Democratic base, or Republican base to come out and then you focus on these undecided voters. It looks like on both contests you’re not seeing high numbers on the Democrat side that you otherwise would need,” said Vasquez.

A lot can change between now and the election, but it appears Democrats will have to come from behind.

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