NASHVILLE (WSMV) - Voter turnout was strong in the Volunteer State for the midterm elections.

According to the state's election website, nearly 2.3 million Tennesseans voted.

While the official numbers won't be released until later in the day on Wednesday, these numbers give you some perspective into how comparable the turnout was.

News4 added up the total votes for governor in this election and compared it to the vote totals from the 2016 presidential election year.

We all know midterm turnout is usually lower compared to a presidential year, but in Davidson County, the difference was only about 8,500 votes, or 3.5 percent.

Over in Sumner County, the turnout was just a little less than 10 percent compared to the last presidential election.

Rutherford County had a 10.5 percent lower turnout for the midterm elections compared to the presidential election.

Millennial voters are saying they've noticed more young people getting involved. They're showing up at marches and rallies, as well as the polls.

Mitchell Casto and Jessica Newman, both millennial voters, cast their ballots early for the midterm elections. They both said they're surprised with how progressive the state of Tennessee is becoming.

The results of the U.S. Senate race, leading to Republican Marsha Blackburn's victory over Democrat Phil Bredesen, has these voters a bit shocked this morning.

"I'm not going to lie, I was a little disappointed in the outcome. I thought the Senate race was going to be a little bit closer than it was," Newman said.

Both millennials agree that the way to make your voice heard is to vote.

"Not just even here. but nationally. Texas has a competitive race. ... the fact that Bredesen was able to come here. The newest generation and that large voter block we discussed is more progressive," Casto said.

News4 political analyst Kent Syler was surprised by the margins in the race for governor and the race for Senate.

He says although Tennessee is a red state, he thought the race for Senate between Blackburn and Bredesen would have been more competitive.

When the early vote was coming in, Syler said there was a trend we could see.

To be successful, Syler said the Democratic ticket needed to break out in Davidson and Shelby counties and other places too.

Looking back at when Bredesen won the governor's race in 2002, those counties were coming in at 70 and 75 percent for Bill Lee and Blackburn. Syler said that was not a good sign.

He also said the difference in campaigns run by Blackburn and Bredesen had an impact.

Syler says Blackburn knew this was a base election.

"Marsha Blackburn has been a very conservative person her entire career ... she got out there, she embraced President Trump," he said. "Phil Bredesen ... that's gone. We're a polarized nation, we're a polarized state ... we found out that it's not."

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Desiree Wiley joined the News4 team as weekend morning anchor and reporter in April 2018.


Alexandria Adams joined the News4 team as a reporter in October 2017.

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