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In this and every election, both sides devote huge resources to getting their partisans to turn out and vote — “motivating the base,” in the jargon of politics.

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They’ve held hundreds of rallies including a massive gathering on the National Mall, appeared with Trevor Noah and other late-night television hosts, and challenged elected officials to face-to-face debate.

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 Voters cast ballots early in Atlanta.
Voters cast ballots early in Atlanta. (Jessica McGowan / Getty Images)

Election day is less than a week away, but more than 27 million Americans are apparently so psyched or angry or frightened or inspired or whatever drives people to the polls that they have already cast their ballots.

Early voting has become an increasingly regular part of campaigns, a way for some to avoid last-minute hassles at their polling place or, perhaps, knowing they have hip surgery scheduled for election day, to ensure they make their voice heard by voting absentee.

Turnout for the midterm vote, at the halfway point of a president’s four-year term, typically falls off drastically from a presidential election. But early turnout is running unusually high this fall, which shouldn’t be a surprise given the heated sentiments on both sides. Eighteen states have already surpassed their early-vote totals from 2014, the last midterm election; a handful — Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Texas — could surpass the total votes cast in 2014 even before Tuesday rolls around.

Two years ago, Republican Rep. Darrell Issa kept his seat by 1,621 votes, making the race in his sprawling coastal 49th District in Orange and San Diego counties the closet congressional tally in the nation that year.

A stronger-than-expected labor market report Friday — highlighted by a quarter of a million new jobs and the best year-over-year wage growth in nine years — could provide a boost to Republican candidates at the polls next week but also could trigger higher interest rates.

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During heated trade talks with Japan in the 1980s, Robert Lighthizer, then a top negotiator under President Reagan, earned the nickname “missile man” after he took one of Japan’s written offers, folded it into a paper airplane and flung it at the opposing side.

On the home page of his campaign website, Rep. Steve Knight of Palmdale has posted a television ad showing a veteran praising the Republican congressman for helping him get a lung transplant.

The men and their campaigns could not be more different.

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  • Supreme Court
William Rehnquist, left, and Sandra Day O'Connor.
William Rehnquist, left, and Sandra Day O'Connor. (Hillery Smith Garrison / Associated Press; Harry Cabluck / Associated Press)

 A biographer has discovered the future chief justice of the United States once proposed marriage to the person who would become the first woman to serve on the court.

NPR's "Morning Edition" reports author Evan Thomas found William Rehnquist's letter to Sandra Day O'Connor while researching his upcoming book about her, "First." The two dated while students at Stanford Law School in the early 1950s. They had broken up but remained friends.

Rehnquist graduated and in a March 29 letter, wrote: "To be specific, Sandy, will you marry me this summer?" She said no.

Stacey Abrams, left, and Oprah Winfrey.
Stacey Abrams, left, and Oprah Winfrey. (Michael Holahan / The Augusta Chronicle via Associated Press; Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Oprah Winfrey will campaign on Thursday for Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

Abrams' campaign confirmed that the billionaire media mogul will appear with Abrams, who is vying to become the country's first black female governor. The Atlanta Voice and BuzzFeed News first reported Winfrey's plans.

Winfrey is part of a parade of high-profile figures weighing in during the final days of Abrams' tight race with Republican Brian Kemp.