Appearing on CBS' "Early Show" this morning, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, said, "Folks are saying there's going to be a massive wave for Republicans, but the early voting analysis across the nation is showing that Democrats are doing very well in early voting."
Predictions that an "enthusiasm gap" would mean higher turnout of registered Republicans versus Democrats, said Kaine, aren't borne out. "It's not showing up in the early voting stats that are coming along.
"I've been in 40-plus states as DNC chair," he said. "I see a lot of energy and enthusiasm for our candidates. Is it going to be tough? Sure it is. Midterms are always tough; midterms in a tough economy are tough. But we've got a good ground game and I see evidence of it everywhere I go."
Kaine recalled his last "Early Show" appearance: "Last time I was on with you guys, it was the morning of the president's rally in Madison. And I think Maggie was interviewing me and she's saying 'What if nobody turns out to the rally?' I said, 'You know what, I think there's going to be a good turnout.' It turned out there were 26,000 people there that night."
The stats on early voting do show a brighter prospect for Democrats than poll shave suggested, although it is a mixed bag.
Figures from states with early voting show that while turnout of registered Democrats is leading Republicans in blue states like California, Nevada, Maryland and Iowa, it's also ahead in West Virginia and North Carolina.
GOP turnout is running higher in Pennsylvania and Colorado. Ohio is split.
In Florida Republicans are running slightly ahead statewide, with Democratic turnout higher in, naturally, Democratic strongholds like Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.
GOP turnout in Duvall, Collier and Lake Counties is significantly higher.
More troubling for Democrats may be Illinois, where Northwestern University cites Cook County election figures which reveal early voting in Chicago's suburbs showed lower turnouts in districts with higher minority populations (such as Park Forest and Cicero), while predominantly white Orland Park has the largest turnout of early voting.