Republicans reveal ‘stunning’ scale of Democratic early voting in battleground states and say they fear Trump’s attack on mail-in voting will badly backfire
- More Democratic voters than Republican ones in key battleground states have requested and returned their ballots for the November election
- Republicans are worried President Trump’s railing against mail-in voting could hurt their party in November election
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has met with Trump twice on the issue
- Trump has repeatedly claimed mail-in voting leads to a ‘rigged’ election
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More Democratic voters than Republican ones in key battleground states have requested and returned their mail-in ballots for the November election – a sign that has GOP strategists worried President Donald Trump‘s attack on mail-in voting will backfire on their party.
Of the more than 9 million voters who requested mail ballots as of Monday in five critical states where the data is available – Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maine and Iowa – 52 per cent were Democrats, 28 per cent were Republicans, and 20 per cent were unaffiliated.
Additional internal Democratic and Republican Party data obtained by The Washington Post shows a similar trend in Ohio, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Wisconsin, the paper reported.
Republicans are so concerned that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has met with Trump twice on the issue, encouraging him to stop talking about mail balloting ‘imprecisely,’ a strategist told the paper.
Florida and North Carolina – two states were Trump is fighting to win and polls show the race within the margin to Democratic rival Joe Biden – have Democratic voters returning their ballots at a higher rate that Republicans.
It’s believed Trump needs Florida – his new home state – to win a second term.
Republicans worry President Trump’s railing against mail-in voting could hurt them in November
Broward County Mayor Dale V.C. Holness helps load vote-by-mail ballots into a truck for transport to a local U.S. Postal Service office in Florida Thursday
A record number of voters – more than 80 million – are expected to vote via mail because of the coronavirus pandemic. There’s also concerns that older voters, who are an usually reliable voting bloc, may stay home on Election Day because of the pandemic.
Trump has repeatedly assailed mail-in voting, including during Tuesday night’s presidential debate.
‘This is going to be a fraud like you’ve never seen,’ he said of the November vote, citing mail-in ballots.
An election official wearing a protective mask drops off a mail-in ballot in a drop box at a polling location in Miami
Trump has repeatedly claimed mail-in ballots will lead to a ‘rigged’ election despite numerous studies showing that is the case.
‘If I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can’t go along with that,’ Trump said as many states have begun mailing out their general election ballots.
And he complained about the New York City ballots in a Wednesday morning tweet.
The New York City Board of Elections is printing and resending nearly 100,000 absentee ballots to voters who received erroneous envelopes in their ballot packages. Several Brooklyn voters received absentee ballots with the wrong name and address printed on the return envelope.
‘Wow! 100,000 Mail In Ballots in New York City a total MESS. Mayor and Governor have no idea what to do. Big Fraud, Unfixable! Cancel Ballots and go out and VOTE, just like in past decades, when there were no problems!,’ Trump wrote on Twitter.
Republican officials told The Post they are working to reverse the mail-in voting trend and to reassure voters their mail-in ballot will count.
‘It’s astronomical,’ said one Republican strategist, who noted he was ‘horrified’ by the discrepancy. ‘You see these numbers in a state like North Carolina, and how can you not be concerned?’
Trump surrogates and family members, including Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law, are recording calls to urge supporters to vote by mail.
Additionally, the party has invested heavily in a ground game, having volunteers knock on doors to encourage people to vote.
‘We always expected to be behind at this point as Democrats have made it their mission to push for an all-mail election that brings fraud and chaos into the system,’ said Republican National Committee spokesman Mike Reed. ‘You’ll see Democrats predominantly vote by mail, and our voters will come out in droves to vote in person, especially on Election Day.’
Democrats have feared Trump would not accept the results of the November 3 election. Both sides have legal teams on stand by in case of challenges to mail-in ballots.
Given that different states have different rules regarding mail-in ballots – such as when the count can start and how long they can be accepted by election boards – the results of the presidential election may not be known for a few weeks.