Trump has to now depend on high voter turnout on Election Day as Democrats dominated the mail-in early voting. It would be interesting to see how Republican voters will come out to support Trump in areas that are severely affected by Covid 19.
Trump was never satisfied with mail-in voting, and he had even made his opinion public on many occasions. This was also one of the main reasons why Republicans were not in favor of mail-in voting, and many of them did not turn up for early mail-in voting. On the other hand, Democrats have always welcomed the move, and it is estimated that Democrats cast double the mail-in ballots of Republicans across the nation.
However, Republicans tried to reduce the gap with early in-person voting. Considering these factors, experts say that Trump may be heading into a deficit in some of the swing states. According to the United States Elections Project, a record number of 92 million people have either voted by mail or voted early by an in-person method.
According to a Democratic elections data firm, TargetSmart, about 48.3% of Democratic voters have cast early votes as against 41.5% Republican voters. Other than that, 10.2% of voters with no party affiliation have also voted early in the election. As per the polling analysis, Biden seems to be slightly ahead even though the margin is thinning as election day approaches.
CEO of TargetSmart, Tom Bonier, said that the supporters of Trump have listened to his call and avoided mail voting. Most of them are waiting to experience the Election Day thrill and want to vote in-person. Democrats, on the other hand, have achieved record levels of turnouts due to early votes, and Republicans will now have to match them on Election Day with high voter turnout. Certainly, a record turnout will be necessary on Election Day for the Republicans.
The US Elections Project that reveals party affiliation data showed that nearly 49% of the 33 million ballots received in 19 states were from Democrats, and Republicans used up 26%. Apart from that, people with no party affiliation accounted for 24% of mail ballots.
When it came to early in-person voting, Republicans had the upper hand with 42% turnout as against 36% for the Democrats. The regions of Florida, Texas, and North-Carolina showed a high turnout of in-person voters.
In Florida, out of the nearly 8.3 million early votes, Democrats accounted for nearly 40%, and Republicans accounted for 38%, while others with no party affiliation made up 21% of voter turnout, according to the US Elections Project. On the other hand, when it came to absentee ballots, Republicans had a small share of 31%, whereas Democrats had a major share of 46%.
A similar trend was seen in North Carolina as Democrats had a big share of close to 46% absentee ballots, whereas Republicans had just about 20% share. However, Democrats also had a major share of early votes as well, with about 36% as against 35% Republican voters. About 29% who did not have any party affiliation also voted in-person.
Traditionally, Pennsylvania did not have early in-person voting, and this is the reason not many people were enthusiastic about this concept. However, it always had early in-person absentee voting. Out of the 2.3 million mail ballots, Republicans accounted for just 22%, whereas Democrats had the lion’s share with 68% ballots.
The interesting thing that could happen in Pennsylvania due to this voting percentage is that Trump may begin with a huge lead on Election Day as most Republicans will be voting only on that day. Biden may catch up only later, as counting the mailed votes will not begin until Election Day in Pennsylvania.
According to experts, this will open up a huge gap between Trump and Biden in this region, and Trump has to ensure that voter turnout will be huge on Election Day so that they can counter Biden in this region. In other states, the gap between Democrats and Republicans is not so huge when it comes to early votes.
The trend is in alignment with polls that had indicated that mail-in voting would favor Biden, and Trump will get an advantage with Election Day voting. According to few polls, Biden maintained a lead of 52% vs. 44% with Trump. This could change if Republicans turn out in large numbers on Election Day and swing the balance in favor of Trump.
Analysts are of the opinion that if the results have to depend on Pennsylvania, it will be a long wait, and the results will not be known for many days.
Samantha Zager, Spokeswoman of Trump’s Campaign, said that the early advantage of Democrats with mail voting is nothing new as Biden has been promoting this for many months. She added that Republicans are eagerly waiting for Election Day to vote in person, and Biden will not be bringing new voters on Election Day.
The rising cases of Covid 19 are a concern for Trump in few states as he needs a record turnout on Election Day. While Republicans are hoping for a huge turnout, even Democrats want a good turnout as this will add to their vote share.
Some analysts feel that Trump has taken a risk with his approach of depending only on Election Day votes as he now has to hope for a large turnout during the pandemic season. It would be interesting to see if people are willing to come out to the polling stations in large numbers braving the pandemic. As the number of polling stations is also reduced in some regions, voters may have to wait for a long time before they can exercise their rights on election day.
This kind of voter turnout before elections was expected, and Democrats certainly have the early advantage as at least a certain percentage of their vote share is already secure, unlike the Republicans, who are largely depending on Election Day turnout to gain a lead. Considering these developments, Republicans are trying their best to make it easy for voters to cast their votes on Election Day.