Ballot Requests Show Democrats Way Ahead

Republicans trail by plenty in early figures from battleground states
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2020 5:00 PM CDT
In Ballot Requests, Democrats Lead by Plenty
Workers prepare absentee ballots last week for mailing at the Wake County Board of Elections in Raleigh, N.C.   (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

No one knows how President Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden will do in the battleground states in November. But we know which party has more voters asking for absentee ballots so far, and it's not close. Democrats lead Republicans 3-to-1 or so in absentee ballot requests from voters in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, per Politico. More Democrats also are asking for a ballot in New Hampshire, Ohio, and Iowa. Democrats are up by 700,000 in Florida. It's early, and the numbers are preliminary, but it's still enough to make Republicans nervous. "A ballot in is a ballot in, and no late-campaign message or event takes it out of the count," said a Republican pollster, who added that "Biden is banking a lead in the mail, and more of the risk of something going wrong late is borne by Republicans because our voters haven't voted yet."

Another encouraging sign for Democrats is that among people who sat out 2016, more of their voters want a ballot for this election. Two of the battleground states said they've gotten a record number of requests for absentee ballots this year, per ABC. Michigan has requests for 2 million. "That is more than has ever been requested in any Michigan election—not just at the eight-week mark, but the final number in any election," an official said. A spokesperson for the Republican National Committee said that's what the party, including Trump, is talking about. "The majority of our voters prefer to vote in-person," he said. "So, we expect to be well behind on absentee requests as Democrats have made it their mission to push for an all-mail election that brings fraud and chaos into the system." (Trump suggested holding a second election.)

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