Middlesex County Democratic Chairman Kevin McCabe is optimistic about Democratic turnout in the county.
“We are encouraged by the energy for voter turnout,” McCabe said on Thursday. “The common denominator, we believe, are the policies emanating from the Trump White House, and we believe we are seeing evidence of this correlation in early voting data to date.”
Democrats are far outpacing Republicans in early voting so far this year. The number of returned ballots, 262,095 as of Oct. 29, almost doubles the amount cast at the same time in 2014, when 143,049 voters had cast ballots at the same point in time.
Those figures favor Democrats statewide, but they’re even more favorable in the deeply-blue Middlesex County.
As of Wednesday morning, almost 29,000 vote my mail ballots had been cast in Middlesex. Of those, 52% were cast by Democrats while 19% were cast by Republicans, a 33-point margin — Friday’s statewide figures were slightly less bad for Republicans, with a margin of 48%-21%.
It’s possible that Middlesex closely resembles the statewide trend, as these numbers change daily, and that change is likely only to accelerate as election day draws closer.
What’s more, McCabe said, a mayoral election in New Brunswick, where Mayor James Cahill tends to skate by to reelection unopposed, could also bump turnout. Facing a challenge from community activist and newspaper owner Charlie Kratovil, Cahill has turned to the city’s transient population of students.
“Mayor Cahill and his team have run a very enthusiastic, energetic campaign,” McCabe said. “In particular, they have certainly tapped into the Rutgers University Community and taken advantage of the energy coming out of the campus.”