While it’s often misleading to read too much into early voting numbers, some Republicans are increasingly worried as they watch Democrats turn out newly registered and low-propensity voters in key states.
According to Politico, “Democrats have opened up a yawning gap in early voting over Republicans in six of the most crucial battleground states — but that only begins to tell the story of their advantage heading into Election Day.”
The report notes that while this does not mean that Donald Trump is headed toward a certain defeat, it does give Republicans some cause for concern. Or, as one GOP strategist said, “It’s a warning flare.”
More from the report:
The turnout data does not mean Donald Trump will lose to Joe Biden. Both sides are bracing for a close race and a giant wave of Republicans to vote in person on Nov. 3. Yet the turnout disparity with new and less-reliable voters has forced Republican political operatives to take notice.
“It’s a warning flare,” said veteran Republican strategist Scott Reed.
“Some Republicans are stuck in a model that we always run up the score on Election Day to make up the difference,” Reed said. “I think running an election in a superpolarized electorate, you want to win early voting. Let’s go. Let’s stop talking and making excuses.”
The GOP caught an encouraging glimpse in Florida on Tuesday, when more Republicans began casting in-person, early ballots than Democrats in Trump’s must-win state. But Democrats have dominated voting by mail and on Thursday held a historic lead in total pre-Election Day ballots cast of 463,000, or 10 percentage points, according to the state’s Division of Elections. Gov. Ron DeSantis this week urged Republicans to vote early in person, a message Trump plans to echo on Saturday, when he’s expected to call on his base to get to the polls.
Americans are turning out in record numbers this year
Like I noted at the outset, early voting numbers only tell part of the story when it comes to presidential elections. Donald Trump and Republicans expect a surge in Election Day turnout that they believe will make this a tight race.
But we also know that high turnout elections tend to benefit Democrats. After all, there is a reason why one party – the GOP – has worked tirelessly to make voting more difficult in the run up to this election.
That doesn’t mean this electoral cake is baked, however. As the Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman noted, “Dems are deluding themselves if they think rural white voters aren’t going to turn out. It’ll be through the roof.”
At the end of the day, though, Democrats must feel good about record-breaking early vote numbers coming out of some crucial battleground states, particularly when newly registered and low-frequency voters are turning out.
That’s clearly spooking some Republicans in battleground states.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.