Can local Democrats extend late resurgence?

Today is the final day of campaigning, and Memphis will receive a visit from Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Haslam at Patrick's for lunch at 12:40 in East Memphis (off Park). His opponent, Democrat Mike McWherter, spent almost the entire weekend in Memphis and Shelby County trying to motivate Democratic turnout. As he did most of the weekend, he'll continue to partner with his party's 8th Congressional District nominee, Roy Herron, at events today and gatherings today elsewhere in the state.

As I point out in a story this morning, the final four days of early-voting showed a big increase in participation from likely Democratic voters -- especially those sorted by the Shelby County Election Commission as registered black voters. Many of the local Democrats who sweated the first 10 days or so of early voting, like 9th District incumbent Steve Cohen, are now feeling very confident but still know they need strong turnout on Tuesday. I wrote about Cohen's race against tea-party favorite Charlotte Bergmann in Sunday's paper, and included numbers that our data reporter, Grant Smith, helped me compile applying a precinct-by-precinct analysis based on partisan-voting patterns from the Aug. 5 election.

For the details on how turnout broke down in early voting, check out today's story. Email me for more information.

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