WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - New data reveal Republican early voters are outpacing Democrats in key battleground states.
According to an NBC News data analytics team, the number of Republicans heading to the polls ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm election is substantially higher than the number of Democrats.
With more than 5 million votes already cast nationwide, "The latest data suggests robust enthusiasm among early Republican voters that could put a dent in Democratic hopes for a 'blue wave' in next month's midterm elections," NBC reported on Monday.
Close races in key battleground states, including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Montana, Nevada, Tennessee and Texas, have driven large numbers of Republican early voters to the polls.
As of Oct. 22, the early vote breakdown shows Democrats outpacing Republicans only in Nevada, where Republican Sen. Dean Heller is fighting to keep his seat:
The lopsided tallies suggest the Democrats' "blue wave" may be less sweeping than predicted.
According to political analyst and historian Larry Schweikart, the figures refute the conventional narrative that Republican voters in 2018 are less engaged than Democrats.
"I was always expecting this engagement," he told Breitbart News on Monday. "There never was a blue wave, and there never were '40-60 [House] seats' at risk — and Democrats were always going to lose 4-7 senate seats."
"This is not due to only Justice Kavanaugh or any other issue," he added, "but a common sense reading of who Republican voters are and how they generally do not get jazzed up for special elections."
Instead, Schweikart said, "Republicans try to ignore politics because they have families, churches and lives. Then, in October, they begin to engage."
Among the races in these key battleground states, a few stand out as of particular interest to Catholics.
In Indiana, two Catholics are vying to represent the state in the U.S. Senate. Incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly routinely flouts Church teaching on homosexuality (publicly declaring support for same-sex "marriage") and abortion. Though claiming to be pro-life, right-to-life advocates note Donnelly has sided with Planned Parenthood in two out of every three abortion-related congressional votes. Braun, meanwhile, has declared himself to be "100 percent pro-life" and has pledged to "support legislation that says that life begins at conception."
In Montana, Republican challenger Matt Rosendale, a pro-life Catholic, is fighting to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. John Tester. Tester is radically pro-abortion; he supports taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood and, in January, voted down the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would prohibit painful late-term abortions after five months of pregnancy
In Texas, Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke is trying to take down incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. O'Rourke, a self-identified Catholic, is an ardent backer of abortion; he has received a 100 percent rating from activist groups NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.