Voting booths at the University of South Floirda. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

With just days left until the midterm elections, 26 states have already surpassed the total number of early votes cast in the 2014 midterm election, per Elect Project's Michael McDonald, a University of Florida professor who's tracking these returns.

Why it matters: While we don't know which party is benefiting from early voting, the numbers show an undeniable enthusiasm surge among voters in this year's election — and many states could have participation numbers closer to a presidential election.

What to watch: States like Arizona, Tennessee, Texas, Florida, Nevada, Wisconsin and West Virginia all have competitive Senate races this cycle.

  • The other states include Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia, all of which have either an important Senate, House, or gubernatorial race, sometimes all three.

The biggest early voting differences:

  • Texas, where 4.3 million have already voted compared to 2 million total early votes in the last midterm election.
  • Tennessee, where over 1.3 million people have already voted. In 2014, the total was 634,000 early votes.
  • Florida voters have already cast more than 4 million votes, compared to 3.1 million.

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Updated 32 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 20,188,678 — Total deaths: 738,668 — Total recoveries: 12,452,126Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 5,138,850 — Total deaths: 164,480 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. States: Georgia reports 137 coronavirus deaths, setting new daily record Florida reports another daily record for deaths.
  4. Health care: Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. Sports: Big Ten scraps fall football season.

Voters cast ballots in Minnesota, Georgia, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Vermont

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Primary elections are being held on Tuesday in Minnesota, Georgia, Connecticut, Vermont and Wisconsin.

The big picture: Georgia and Wisconsin both struggled to hold primaries during the coronavirus pandemic, but are doing so again — testing their voting systems ahead of the general election. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is facing a strong challenger as she fights for her political career. In Georgia, a Republican primary runoff pits a QAnon supporter against a hardline conservative.

2 hours ago - Health

Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's vaccine

A volunteer in Moderna's vaccine clinical trial receives a shot. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The U.S. government has agreed to buy 100 million doses of Moderna's experimental coronavirus vaccine for $1.5 billion, or $15 per dose.

Why it matters: The Trump administration, through Operation Warp Speed, has now bought initial batches of vaccines from Moderna, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi, Pfizer, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca before knowing whether they are safe and effective. The federal government also appears to own some of the patent rights associated with Moderna's vaccine.