It may be the stupidest campaign strategy of all time: tell the millions of voters who normally cast their ballots for you by mail not to do so. In early voting counts, Trump’s warnings to his followers about avoiding voting by mail and waiting until Nov. 3 to vote in person seem to be working well, but that leaves millions of extra voters at the polls on Election Day during a pandemic, and many may change their minds about doing so with infection rates from COVID-19 failing to subside.
NEW: Dems are amassing a huge early vote advantage over Trump – putting pressure on POTUS to execute a big EDay turnout amid a deadly pandemic and mounting cash worries https://t.co/VN9XjvIk8F
— Alex Isenstadt (@politicoalex) September 11, 2020
As early voting results are tabulated, many of which were submitted by mail, Democrats have taken a strong early lead. In battleground states, Democrats are already leading their opponents, but more importantly, requests for absentee and early voting ballots from voters who didn’t vote in 2016 are overwhelmingly made by Democrats.
‘The Democratic dominance spreads across an array of battleground states, according to absentee ballot request data compiled by state election authorities and analyzed by Democratic and Republican data experts. In North Carolina and Pennsylvania, Democrats have a roughly three-to-one advantage over Republicans in absentee ballot requests. In Florida — a must-win for President Donald Trump — the Democratic lead stands at more than 700,000 ballot requests, while the party also leads in New Hampshire, Ohio and Iowa.’
Stacey Abrams gives advice for voting in the 2020 election: “Don’t panic. Make a plan and make it early.”https://t.co/R70MLURpr0
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) September 10, 2020
Democrats are banking on enthusiasm for voting Donald Trump out of office, an enthusiasm that has grown among scandals like reports that the president has called service members “losers” and “suckers” and tapes proving he lied repeatedly about COVID-19. That enthusiasm has Democratic voters mobilized.
‘Even more concerning for Republicans, Democrats who didn’t vote in 2016 are requesting 2020 ballots at higher rates than their GOP counterparts. The most striking example is Pennsylvania, where nearly 175,000 Democrats who sat out the last race have requested ballots, more than double the number of Republicans, according to an analysis of voter rolls by the Democratic firm TargetSmart.’
Our president has committed the crime of soliciting voter fraud in plain sight. What’s next, 5th Avenue? https://t.co/P42G7fAcHS
— Barb McQuade (@BarbMcQuade) September 3, 2020
Meanwhile, Trump’s determination to cast doubt on the electoral process is hurting his own party more than Democrats. As Republican candidates, party officials, and Trump campaign officials try to rally voters to vote by mail and to turn in their ballots, Trump continues his warnings to supporters that their votes won’t be counted if they cast their ballots by mail.
‘Republicans are also encouraging supporters to vote absentee. Through telephone calls, digital advertising and mailers, they have prodded Trump backers to vote early or by mail. The pro-Trump outside group America First Action, meanwhile, has been following up with voters to ensure they are turning in their ballots.
‘Yet Trump — much to the frustration of senior Republicans — has undermined those efforts with repeated attacks on mail-in voting. The president has used his recent public appearances and his Twitter feed to savage voting by mail as a process that can’t be trusted.’
NEW: GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy is privately encouraging voting by mail and warned President Trump the party could be "screwed" by his fight against mail-in voting.
"We could lose based on that," McCarthy told me at a diner in Salt Lake City last week https://t.co/8c8cAVRFzF
— Alayna Treene (@alaynatreene) September 6, 2020