NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Saturday is the last day to vote early. Those left behind will have to cast their votes on Tuesday. Political experts noted they are seeing two interesting trends this year.

The first is the increasing number of Hispanics voting for Republicans. The second is we are not on track to reach 2018 midterm numbers.

So what does this mean for both sides?

The year 2018 was a blue wave in the state of New Mexico.

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KRQE Political Expert Gabe Sanchez said we’re probably not going to reach those numbers, but he said he is seeing some patterns emerge in early voting.

“Overall, we are looking at the Hispanic vote share moving significantly enough to make things interesting in states like New Mexico towards the Republican party. Right now it looks like there is going to be a four to five percent shift to the Republican party among Hispanic voters in this election,” said Gabe Sanchez

Sanchez said the majority of Hispanic votes are being cast early in Congressional District 2, which is the race between Republican Yvette Herrell and Democrat Gabe Vasquez.

Right now, Democrats in that district are behind in early voting compared to 2018.

Overall in the state through Thursday, more than 352,000 voted early or absentee.

Sanchez said it will be difficult to hit the 2018 numbers of more than 442,000 people who cast ballots early. It is a strong year though, and he said it will all come down to Election Day turnout. He explained Hispanic people will account for 40% of all votes cast.

If the number of Hispanics who vote Republican goes from 4% to 5%, or even all the way up to 7%, it could be a very close Governor’s race.

The number of absentee votes is up compared to 2018 as more people have become accustomed to voting like that during the pandemic

The last day to vote early is Saturday. Election Day is Tuesday with polls opening at 7 a.m.