Early Voting Numbers Skew Democratic, Black, and Older 

Some fun facts: According to the calculations of Election Commissioner Bennie Smith, a statistician and professional elections analyst, some 81,000 voters took part in the early voting period in Shelby County, and the voting skewed Democratic, female, African-American, and relatively elderly.

The final voting figures as of Saturday, August 1st, were 54,400 Democratic, 25,800 Republican; 50,500 female, 30,500 male; 34,400 Black, 26,200 white, and 26,200 other. Of the 81,000 voters, some 69,900 were over the age of 50.

That last figure illustrates the disproportionate tendency of older voters to take part in elections, inasmuch as the over-50 segment of the society as a whole is only 45 percent. The average age of an eligible voter in Shelby County is 48.20.

click to enlarge Distribution of Eligible Voters - by Gender
  • Distribution of Eligible Voters by Gender

The eligible voting population comprises roughly 331,000 females and 240,000 males, a split of 57.97 percent to 42.03 percent. Ethnically, the voting population includes 199,000 African Americans, 139,000 whites, and 233,000 who consider themselves "other." As the last week of the August 6th election round began, candidates were putting their best surrogates on display — hitchhiking, as it were, on other, better established, or more well-known political figures.

In the case of Tom Leatherwood, a Republican running for re-election to the state House of Representatives from District 99 (Eads, Arlington, eastern Shelby), the doppelgänger was Governor Bill Lee, down from Nashville. The two held forth to a sizable late-Monday-morning crowd at Olympic Steak and Pizza in Arlington, while partisans of Leatherwood's GOP primary opponent, former Shelby County Republican chairman Lee Mills, picketed outside.

A little later on Monday, U.S. Senate candidate Manny Sethi, a Nashville physician and Republican newcomer who styles himself "Dr. Manny," hit the stage of another well-attended event at The Grove in Cordova. He had in tow U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, and Sethi, who is opposed by former Ambassador Bill Hagerty, a Trump endorsee, fairly quickly disposed of any idea that he might be the moderate in the race.

"I'm tired of this coronavirus, aren't you?" Sethi said, addressing a seated crowd of which roughly a third were maskless. "Let's fire Dr. Fauci!" he continued, going on to endorse the glories of hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug President Trump has touted as a potential antidote to COVID-19.

James Mackler, a Democratic candidate in the Senate race, has condemned Sethi's position as one making him unworthy of serving in the Senate.

Sethi is one of two physicians in the Senate race. The other, Republican George Flinn of Memphis, has denounced Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic as being woefully insufficient.

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