Poll Reveals Trump Voters May Have A Massive Advantage On Election Day
President Donald Trump is lagging substantially behind former Vice President Joe Biden in most national polls and polls of critical battleground states. However, one aspect of the mail-in voting system being implemented across the country could give Trump a massive advantage on Election Day.
Data shows that 60% of Trump voters plan to vote in-person on Election Day, while only 23% of Biden supporters said they would vote in-person, according to a survey published Sept. 8 by Pew Research Center. This disparity in in-person votes could give Trump a huge lead on Election Day, which could either give him a victory if there are problems with mail-in ballots or give him and his supporters false hope as more Biden votes trickle in in the days after the election.
The poll found that 58% of Biden voters said they would prefer to vote by mail, in contrast to only 17% of Trump voters who felt the same way. The Pew survey was conducted from July 27 to Aug. 2.
In the same survey 83% of Democrats responded that they supported “no excuse” early or absentee voting for the election, while only 44% of Republicans did. Similarly, 55% of Republicans and 16% of Democrats responded that early or absentee voting should only be allowed with a documented reason for voting early or absentee voting.
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A Washington Post-University of Maryland poll found similar results, with 71% of Republicans reporting that they preferred to vote in-person. That poll found 39% of Democrats said they preferred to vote in-person, but 40% responded that they preferred to vote by mail. The remaining 21% of Democrats preferred to drop off their ballot at a polling place. The poll was conducted between Aug. 24-31 and surveyed 1,672 registered voters with a margin of error of three points.
The Washington Post reported that 84% of Americans will be able to vote by mail by Election Day and that Democrats have recorded historic requests for mail-in ballots. In Florida, where Republicans traditionally have an advantage over Democrats in mail-in voting, around 2.3 million Democrats have requested a mail-in ballot, compared to 1.6 million Republicans.
Democrats in Pennsylvania have requested over 1.5 million mail-in ballots, almost three times the number of Republicans who have requested them. Similarly, Democrats in North Carolina and Iowa are significantly outpacing Republicans in mail-in ballot requests.
With most Trump voters expressing their desire to vote in person on Election Day, the disparity in turnout could give Trump a massive advantage early. Most mail-in ballots will take days to process and count, so it may appear that Biden is losing significantly, especially in battleground states like Pennsylvania, Florida and North Carolina.
The massive enthusiasm gap between Trump and Biden supporters could expand that advantage.
A poll from mid-August showed 58% of Biden voters said that they were voting against Trump rather than for Biden, while 74% of Trump voters said they were affirmatively voting for the president, according to The Wall Street Journal/NBC News.
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A YouGov report published July 31 said that 68% of Trump supporters were “enthusiastic” about the president, while only 40% said the same about Biden.
When it came to enthusiasm about actually voting in favor of a candidate, the gap closed considerably. Trump still held the lead, however, with 76% of Trump supporters saying they were “extremely or very enthusiastic” about voting for him in November compared to 69%of Biden supporters who felt the same way about their candidate.
“Our voters are highly motivated by their enthusiasm for President Trump and are going to vote — many just prefer to vote in person,” said GOP rapid response director Steve Guest in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“The reality is no one is better at turning out voters than Trump Victory, and the Biden campaign simply can’t match our ground game,” Guest said.
However, the in-person voting advantage for Trump may not last very long. As more and more mail-in ballots begin to come in after Election Day, Trump’s initial lead could shrink drastically and even be overtaken by Biden. Additionally, several states, such as Maryland, have closed large numbers of their in-person polling stations, potentially limiting the number of Trump voters who could vote in person on Election Day.
The difference in turnout could give Republicans false hope, but it could also help win Trump the election.
In 2016, over 300,000 mail-in ballots were rejected, and the overall rejection rate for mail-in ballots is roughly 1 to 2%, enough to swing expected close races like Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. With both the huge amount of mail-in voting in this election cycle and the well-documented delivery problems associated with mass mail-in voting, millions of votes could potentially be invalidated. That could swing the election, and with his supporters far more likely to vote by mail, could disadvantage Biden the most.
Trump supporters’ eagerness to vote in-person on Election Day could not only give the president a massive vote advantage on Election Day, but it could give him the electoral victory if there are significant problems with the mail-in voting system.