Did Democrats overplay their hand with their COVID-19 fearmongering?
Daniel Horowitz at The Blaze noted that this might actually be happening, and pointed to the early voting numbers as proof. “While we don’t know the ballot choices of those who voted early, we do know the party registration breakdown in most states. And in nearly every critical state, Republicans are doing much better than they did in 2016 in terms of in-person early voting,” he explained. “Given that Trump won in 2016 and the electorate will only get more favorable for Republicans on Election Day itself (because the majority of Democrats vote early), this portends an outcome way out of sync with the majority of polls.”
Where we really see this trend is in Florida. “Republicans are downright winning in-person early voting in terms of turnout by voter registration in Miami-Dade County, one of the state’s most liberal jurisdictions,” said Horowitz. “Yes, Democrats did bank a lot of mail-in votes, but because Republicans are doing so well with in-person early voting, they are ahead of their 2016 benchmarks in nearly every critical county — and remember, Trump carried Florida in 2016.”
And Democrats aren’t making up for their lack of in-person voting with mail-in votes. “The large number of mail-in votes is unlikely bringing in new voters. Democrats are cannibalizing their in-person vote through record numbers of mail-ins. Sure, many of them answered the call to fill out their ballots through the mail, but they are clearly not enjoying a 1-1 ratio with their typical in-person voting,” Horowitz explained.
The Democratic governor in Wisconsin sounded the alarm about the failure of mail-in ballots to turn out all their voters they need just to stay on par with 2016. At a press conference on Friday, Gov. Tony Evers warned Democrats to vote in person, not by mail. They are discovering the obvious fact that if even 10%-20% of their traditional base throw out their paper mail, which is very common in this day and age, they will lose their baseline votes unless they turn them out on Election Day.
There’s just one problem: It’s too late. By definition, most of the people in this country who have refused to leave their homes for seven months are Democrat voters. Democrats have done such a good job at convincing people they will die from the virus that they have fearmongered themselves into electoral oblivion.
Wisconsin is another state where early voting shows a Republican edge.
As of Sunday, the composition of the ballots cast so far in the Badger State was 43% Republican and 35% Democrat. An R+8 advantage in early voting is simply astounding, given that, according to exit polls, Democrats had a +1 advantage overall in 2016. It’s possible that Republicans are also cannibalizing more of their Election Day vote than usual as early voting becomes more universal, but it’s very unlikely that the electorate would suddenly become more Democratic on Election Day itself.
The situation in North Carolina isn’t much different. In 2016, Democrats had an early voting edge of 310,000 votes and lost. In 2020, their early voting edge is 256,784. The GOP also leads in early voting in Michigan.
As Horowitz noted, “The problem with so many of the polls is that they were predicated on Democrats doing much better in early voting. Take the most recent Fox News Wisconsin poll, for example, which had Biden up by five points. The poll showed a massive edge for Democrats when mail-in and early voting is combined.”
The one outlier here is Pennsylvania, which only had mail-in early voting. Democrats crushed the GOP. But Democrats in the state are worried about mail-in ballot issues and lower Democratic turnout amongst the base.
Will Democrats be able to get out the vote on Election Day after months of fearmongering about COVID-19? Polls have shown that Democrats are far more worried about getting COVID-19 than Republicans, and that might contribute to a less-than-expected turnout of Democrats on Election Day.
Conventional wisdom is that COVID-19 has been a political negative for Trump. But we may find out in the end that Democrats have made COVID-19 the key to Trump’s victory by scaring their base so much they don’t come out and vote in the numbers they need to stave off a red wave on Election Day.