Republicans swamping polls, Dems trickling in

Plenty of time remains in early voting -- it's available until Oct. 28 for the Nov. 2 elections -- but early numbers show that even in Shelby County, one of the most reliable Democratic counties in the nation, Republican voters are more motivated and more activated. We ran this story today looking at the numbers from the first three days of early voting, and there is no good way for Democrats to explain them.

Democratic county chairman Van Turner pointed out that the party is making efforts, but even he was already looking ahead to 2012 when President Obama will be on the ballot. Meanwhile, those involved with Republican Charlotte Begmann's challenge of incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen are downright giddy at the numbers, which they say provide empirical evidence that their campaign slogan -- "Charlotte Bergmann Can Win" -- is on the money.

It will be interesting to see if Cohen revs up his campaign, just in case. However, many of the key people involved in his Democratic primary victory over Willie Herenton are no longer involved.

As we also point out, most of the strongest-turnout precincts are in the suburbs, so it raises the question how much consolidation is driving the continued surge of voters from Republican strongholds.

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