The election is three weeks away, and the ballots are out in Colorado. A political science professor at the University of Florida is keeping a close eye on you Colorado voters, who take advantage of early voting.

Dr. Michael McDonald has been analyzing early voting numbers since 2008. It's a whole project called "The United States Election Project."

Before you continue reading, be sure to watch our video too. How many Michael McDonald references can you spot?!

He's interested to see how mail-in ballots will impact Colorado's early voting numbers in the presidential election.

"Early voting really matters in a state like Colorado. It also matters to some other key states too," McDonald said. "We should see half, if not two-thirds of the votes cast before election day in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada."

According to the Project, 8,816 early votes have been cast in Colorado as of Wednesday, including ballots returned by mail - 8,694 - and early in-person votes - 122.

Based on 2014 numbers, Republicans will jump out to a lead, but Democrats will pick up ground in the last week or so.

Now, McDonald says Hillary Clinton is showing a lot of strength in the Southeast. He expects she'll to do better than President Obama did in 2012.

Donald Trump is holding strong in the Midwest, and looking stronger than Mitt Romney did there in 2012.

He did note this is an early analysis.