More than 27.5 million Americans cast their ballots in the 2020 elections by Sunday morning, a record-breaking collapse of early votes driven by the enthusiasm of Democrats and an epidemic that has changed the way a nation votes.
Ballots presented or voting in states that have already opened an early in-person vote represent roughly 18% of all registered voters and 20% of all votes cast in the 2016 presidential election. That’s before eight states announce any vote, many start The states – including Florida – vote early and have more than two weeks left to cast their ballots.
The rush of Americans to vote prompted election experts to predict the possibility of casting a record 150 million votes, and turnout rates may be higher than any presidential election since 1908.
“It’s crazy,” said Michael MacDonald, a professor of political science at the University of Florida, who has long watched the vote for his site. ElectProject.org. McDonald’s analysis shows nearly 10 times as many people who voted compared to this point in 2016.
So far, turnout has been unbalanced, with Democrats beating Republicans 2-1 in 42 states listed in the Associated Press. Republicans have been preparing for this early Democratic advantage for months, seeing President Donald Trump stand against mail ballots and raise unfounded fears of fraud. Opinion polls, and now early voting, indicate that the speech has shifted his party’s ranks and file away from the voting style they had traditionally dominated in the weeks leading up to Election Day.
This gives the Democrats a tactical advantage in the final phase of the campaign. In many battlefield states, Democrats have “deposited” a large portion of their voters, and can divert their time and money toward hard-to-find voters.
But this does not necessarily mean that the Democrats will advance in the vote by the time the vote is counted. Both parties expect an increase in the Republican vote on Election Day which could dramatically change the dynamic in a matter of hours.
“The Republican numbers will go up,” said John Coffillon, the Republican pollster who tracks the early vote. “The question at what speed and when?”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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