An exponentially higher number of people have already voted in this election than had voted at this point in the 2016 election cycle. As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 5.5 million people have already cast their ballots across the country, which is more than 73 times the number of votes that had been cast at this point in the 2016 cycle.
Amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, more voters have turned towards voting options that don’t involve in-person polling places, but more broadly — there’s an apparently huge nationwide enthusiasm for voting against Donald Trump. Among the portion of those millions of ballots for which party affiliation data is available, Democrats have a huge lead. Democrats have cast 55.3 percent of the little over 2.1 million (apparently mail-in) ballots that have been cast across the states of Florida, Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota, which make the party affiliation data of early voters available. Republicans have only cast 24.1 percent of that total, with most of the rest taken up by unaffiliated voters.
University of Florida Professor Michael McDonald, who’s responsible for the project compiling all of this data, explained:
‘We’ve never seen this many people voting so far ahead of an election. People cast their ballots when they make up their minds, and we know that many people made up their minds long ago and already have a judgment about Trump.’
That judgment, of course, appears to be against the president rather than in his favor.
On Wednesday afternoon, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden led Trump in the FiveThirtyEight average of national-level polling by 9.4 percent, and the site gave Biden an 84 percent chance of winning the presidency as of that same point. As of Wednesday afternoon, the site forecasts that Biden will end up with 53.3 percent of the national popular vote and Trump will end up with just 45.5 percent. That forecasted Biden lead translates into an estimated 342 electoral votes for the Democratic nominee and just 196 for Trump.
Why would Americans at large want to vote for Trump, anyway? By pretty much any reasonable measurement, he has bungled the national response to the Coronavirus crisis, big time. Now, he’s even demanded a halt to negotiations over a potential comprehensive Coronavirus-connected economic relief package — although he has since expressed support for a number of standalone economic relief measures, including direct payments to Americans and support for the airline industry, which has been hit hard by the pandemic-related economic crisis and employs huge numbers of workers.