2020 Election: Biden Voters More Likely to Vote by Mail

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[2020 Elections]
Five-Thirty-Five: "If this holds, it would mean votes cast on Election Day would skew heavily toward Trump, and votes cast by mail would skew heavily toward Biden."
Photo: YouTube

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, many states have taken steps to make it easier for people to vote by mail. 

Absentee ballots have constituted a majority of the votes cast in most primaries since the pandemic struck, and polling suggests a record number of people will vote by mail in the general election as well.

However, amid saturation coverage of problems with the U.S. Postal Service, new polling from CNBC/Change Research suggests that the number of Americans planning to vote by mail has ticked down. In early August, 38 percent of voters in six battleground states1 said they planned to vote by mail. But in the pollster’s just-released Aug. 21-23 poll, the number of voters in those states saying they planned to vote by mail was down to 33 percent. Among all voters nationwide, the share planning to vote by mail went from 36 percent to 33 percent — although that drop was within the poll’s margin of error.

Other recent polls agree that about a third of voters intend to vote by mail this year. But not all voters plan to do so in equal numbers. Democrats are much likelier than Republicans to say they will vote by mail — which makes sense given that Democrats also tend to be more supportive of mail voting. (By contrast, the Republican standard bearer, President Trump, has repeatedly and inaccurately assailed mail voting as ripe for fraud.)

According to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 30 percent of registered voters said they planned to vote by mail, and 43 percent said they planned to vote in person on Election Day. But among Trump supporters, only 11 percent said they planned to vote by mail, and 66 percent said they planned to vote in person on Election Day. Among Joe Biden backers, 47 percent said they planned to vote by mail, while only 26 percent said they planned to vote in person on Election Day. (The share who said they would vote early in person was consistently 20-21 percent among all three groups: Trump supporters, Biden supporters and voters overall.)

If this holds, it would mean votes cast on Election Day would skew heavily toward Trump, and votes cast by mail would skew heavily toward Biden. This has serious implications for … well, democracy. First, Trump could argue the mail ballots (which, remember, could account for most of Biden’s votes) were fraudulent and thus should not be counted. Although it’s unlikely they’d actually be thrown out, this would damage the credibility of the election in the eyes of many Trump supporters. Second, it could mean the first votes counted on election night will be disproportionately good for Trump, who might claim victory based on incomplete returns. It might not be until days later, after a good chunk of the Democratic-leaning mail vote is counted, that Biden pulls ahead.

Read the rest of story here: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/bidens-supporters-appear-way-more-l...

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