Wow. Turnout among American voters is astounding. Over 866,73 Americans have voted in what is now the 2020 election season, no longer just one day. which has spread over a two-month period. In 2016, only 9,525 votes had come in at this point. What is the difference between the two elections? What caused the dramatic participation jump? And who is voting for whom?
According to the U.S. Elections Project, the total is based upon 25 states with early voting information. Of course, that does not reflect the entire country. University of Florida political science professor Michael McDonald runs the project, and he wrote in his blog Saturday, according to The Newsweek magazine:
‘These states are those where I have current data on mail ballot activity More states will be added as state reports become available.’
There are quite a few variables that have led to this early voting. First, people are concerned about catching the coronavirus. Their thinking appears to be that early voting will mean fewer people at the polls, thus, their chances of catching COVID-19 will be diminished.
Another factor for the huge leaps in voter turnout might be voter’s excitement or concern about the next election. Third, people know that Donald Trump installed a new USPS Postmaster General who immediately set about dismantling the mechanized rapid reader, which can handle 30,000 envelopes an hour. While voters may prefer to vote by mail, do they trust the USPS? The lines are already long, so this, too, may enter into their decision-making process.
Finally, Trump has disparaged mail-in voting as “rigged.” Others are concerned that the president will have the lead with more in-person voters than Democrats and prematurely declare victory before the Democrats’ votes are all in and counted.
The Republican Party has cleaved itself into the traditional voters who are used to a country with decorum, honor, and dignity. They support the basic ideals of Abraham Lincoln represented as the first Republican president.
Born out of the extreme Tea Party movement, Trump supporters appear to listen to nothing as loudly as they can. These people seem to operate on pure emotions: anger, frustration, and rage often mimicking Donald Trump. It is unclear how many people are in this group. After all, large numbers of these individuals see polls as part of a government they do not trust.
House Speaker Newt Gingrich and the Tea Party met in 2010, and it was love at first sight. They merged the idea of anti-establishment:
‘Newt Gingrich turned partisan battles into bloodsport, wrecked Congress, and paved the way for Trump’s rise. Now he’s reveling in his achievements.’
Gingrich agrees with the primatologist Frans de Waal, according to The Atlantic magazine. De Waal believes human politics, in “all of its brutality and ugliness,” is “part of an evolutionary heritage we share with our close relatives.”’
That leaves the traditional Republican with few choices about where to turn. It is likely that they gave Trump a chance in 2016. Now, many have crossed over to the Democratic candidate Joe Biden as a more appealing option.
McDonald found that as the time for the 2016 election drew closer, the pace picked up:
‘[O]n October 2, 2016—at least 78,836 people had cast their ballot early in the reporting states, McDonald found. By October 16, 2016, that number had increased even further to be around 1.4 million voters.’
‘McDonald discovered an emerging idea of who these early voters favored: Out of the three states reporting party registration data—Florida, Iowa and North Carolina—the majority of early voters are Democrats (53.9). Republicans make up 16.7 percent, and those without a party affiliation make up 29.1 percent.’
The battleground states of Florida, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina indicated that Democratic voters have asked for more absentee ballots than Republicans or non-affiliated voters. As it turns out, McDonald found that Democrats appeared to take the coronavirus pandemic more seriously than Republicans.
The president told reporters on Wednesday:
‘Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful—there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation. The ballots are out of control. You know it, and, you know, who knows it better than anyone else? The Democrats know it better than anyone else.’
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