Democrats have begun running up a lopsided advantage in early voting as well as absentee ballot requests, in an election what has seen an unprecedented split on voting strategy and furious attacks by the president on mail-voting.
The advantage is pronounced in the battleground states that will decide the election, and that are attracting candidate visits and a TV air war.
The differential in absentee ballot requests has hit three-to-one in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, two states that President Donald Trump won in 2016 that Joe Biden is hoping to strip back.
The advantage in the Keystone state has extended to ballot requests by people who didn’t vote in 2016. A total of 175,000 Democrats who skipped 2016 have asked for ballots, more than double the number of Republicans, Politico reported.
Democrats are running up lopsided leads in numbers of absentee ballot requests and early voting
The Democratic lead in ballot requests in Florida – a state Trump carried where Biden is making a run and holding a slight lead in the polls – is 700,000.
A similar dynamic is playing out in Ohio, a state Trump carried that lies just outside the ‘blue wall’ of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania that Democrats are focused on.
The Democratic advantage has carried over to key counties in Ohio, Statehouse News reported.
In strongly Republican Warren County, Republicans and Democrats are running about even in ballot requests. But Republicans accounted for three times as many requests four years ago.
Democrats are running up a big advantage in mail ballot requests and early voting in battleground states. Here Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, right, and Jill Biden arrive at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, in New York
President Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked mail-in voting
The notable splits come during an election season when President Trump has repeatedly attacked mail-in voting as ‘rife with fraud.’ His campaign is in court seeking to stop mail ballots from going to all Nevada voters.
Trump has said mail voters ‘cheat,’ although evidence of actual mail fraud is rare. He also has attacked the postal service, which is charged with delivering mail-in ballots by election deadlines.
Democrats have been pushing mail voting while also seeking funding for the practice in coronavirus relief legislation. Trump has cast it as a power-play, while party leaders point to the risk of large gatherings with long wait times during a pandemic.