Pre-Election Day voting is skyrocketing nationwide amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and states are reporting record-breaking turnout as voters are energized to vote by mail or early in person before November.
Below is a look at the skyrocketing turnout in several key states that President Trump won by the narrowest of margins in 2016:
Florida: Trump won Florida by a little over one percentage point in 2016 and capturing the Sunshine State again this year is critical to his reelection prospects.
While Florida Democrats maintain an advantage in pre-election turnout, Catalist data shows the gap narrowing as more voters participate in early voting across the state.
Democrats now account for 43% of those early votes, while Republicans account for 36%. At this point in 2016, Republicans held a razor thin, approximately one-point lead in pre-election turnout.
This high turnout among Florida Democrats is reflected in recent polling about voter behavior in the Sunshine State.
New CNN polling conducted by SSRS shows about 35% of likely voters in Florida say they have already cast a ballot. Of that group, 71% say they back former Vice President Joe Biden and 27% back Trump. Fifty-six percent of those who have yet to cast a ballot say they back Trump, and 40% say they back Biden.
This is not predictive of ultimate outcome, however, as polling shows Democrats nationwide are more likely to cast their ballots before Election Day than Republicans.
North Carolina: North Carolina Democrats are also outpacing Republicans in their percentage of the pre-election votes, but once again, that margin is narrowing amid a surge in early voting in the Tar Heel State.
About 40% of the early votes that Catalist has analyzed comes from Democrats compared to 30% from Republicans so far. This is similar to the partisan breakdown of pre-election day votes at this point in 2016.
However, Republicans have narrowed the gap in their share of the early vote in recent weeks.
Pennsylvania: In Pennsylvania — a key state that Trump won by less than one percentage point in 2016 — Democrats continue to hold a significant advantage over Republicans in their share of ballots already cast, according to Catalist party data.
About 70% of pre-election votes have come from Democrats so far, compared to about 20% from Republicans.
Michigan: Michigan’s 16 electoral votes helped make Trump president four years ago when the state broke its six-election streak of voting for the Democratic presidential nominee.
Turnout in the Wolverine State this century peaked in 2008 with more than 5 million votes cast for president. A 2018 ballot measure changed Michigan’s rules to allow anyone to vote by mail without an excuse, and ballot returns this year are more than triple what they were at this time four years ago, according to Catalist data.
A look at those returns by race shows ballots from Black voters make up 12% of the current vote, up from 8% at this time in the 2016 cycle. Democrats are hoping to increase turnout among Black voters in areas like Detroit in their quest to bring Michigan back into the blue column.
Read more here.