WATCH | Election Day may be three weeks away, but early voting is well underway in many states -- and more states are scheduled to start their early voting processes this week. An early voting analyst weighs in on the election results so far.
1.4 million have voted so far
Across the country, more than 1.4 million people have already cast ballots for president.
Michael P. McDonald, an associate professor at the University of Florida, has been tracking the results as best he can for the United States Election Project.
Here's what he told Circa about the patterns he's seeing so far:
CIRCA: Tell us about how you've been measuring early voting so far.
McDonald: Working with the Associated Press, we are collecting data from individuals who are voting in states. In some cases, the states themselves are providing summary statistics. Some of those reports are public, others are private, and we have feeds from the election officials that tell us who's voting, how the parties are doing relative to 2012.
CIRCA: How widespread is early voting this year, and how does it compare to other years?
McDonald: It's difficult to say, because the timing on these reports has changed over the years.
The best I can say is that, along the Eastern seaboard it appears that voter turnout may be up, at least as far as the early vote is considered.
Where [voter turnout] appears to be running at lower levels than 2012 is in the Midwest.
CIRCA: And what have you found in terms of political parties? Which candidate is benefiting the most so far?
McDonald: It depends where you look.
So, in the Midwest, the people who are not voting tend to be registered Democrats.
In Ohio, for example, what we're seeing is that the number of people who are voting in some of the key [Democratic] strongholds ... are not voting at the same rates as they did in 2012.
McDonald: So that should be troubling news for the Clinton campaign. If you look at the polling numbers out of the Midwest, you'll see that Trump is performing better than Romney did in 2012.
However, it's just the opposite pattern along the Atlantic Seaboard.
In places like Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida, the Democrats are over-performing where they did in 2012, and the Republicans are under-performing.
It's of interest that women became more engaged in that week.
CIRCA: I heard you found something interesting about women voters. What was that?
McDonald: Yes, so over the weekend I looked at the number of women requesting absentee ballots. And in two states where I have good numbers -- North Carolina and Georgia -- the week following the first debate, the number of absentee ballots went up for women.
McDonald: It's of interest that women became more engaged in that week.
And since absentee ballot requests are a trailing indicator, it makes sense that something happened in that first debate.
Maybe that whole controversy surrounding the former Miss Universe really prompted some women to exercise their right to vote.
CIRCA: Which party is faring better with the early vote so far?
McDonald: If you look at the Electoral College math, the Democrats would likely be very pleased about their position.
If they're doing well in Virginia and North Carolina and Florida, that pretty much makes it impossible for Trump to win the Electoral College. Not only would he have to win Iowa and Ohio but he'd have to pick up... Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and so far we don't see evidence that he's got a lead in any of those states.
CIRCA: Do these early indications mean anything?
McDonald: Well, we're still a few weeks out from the election, and we're going to see the number of people increase as the election gets closer.
There are other events that can affect the election at this point And it's been a very unpredictable election so far. So who knows? Maybe some negative information will come out for either candidate that could shift the numbers one way or another before Election Day.