With 2,147,288 ballots cast, the GOP leads the early vote in Michigan. 41% GOP to 39% DEM. About 50% of the estimated total votes for 2020 have been cast. In Michigan, you can register and vote the same day, so this is still a close race. Over the past few days, Republicans have stormed the polls and are beginning to take the lead in early voting in several sates. The speed at which the GOP caught up to the Democrats’ early lead has stunned some experts. Republicans were not supposed to catch up to Democrats’ early vote lead in Michigan until election day, under best case scenario.
The sample size of actual ballots cast is significantly larger than any poll. This fact makes this data a better indicator of voting preference. This data does not account for specific demographics or segments of the electorate that still have to vote. In general, though, Republicans are more wary of casting mail-in votes, and are waiting for election day. It’s expected Republicans will cast more ballots on election day. If that assumption is correct, President Trump has the advantage in Wisconsin.
Ballots Cast in Michigan as of 10/27
Youth Vote Against Further Lockdowns
Particularly worrisome for Democrats is the absence of the youth voters (18-29) as a percentage of total voters. Because voting is up 226% from this time in 2016, raw numbers show the youth vote up. In 2020, as a percentage of the electorate, 18-29 year-olds cast only 9% of the total vote. In 2016, they were 21% of the electorate. This data suggests that young people are not showing up at the same rate during this election cycle.
As Democratic strategists pore over early numbers, a clear and unexpected trend is emerging: The lock-downs are suppressing the college vote. Many college social events are tied to campaign events for Democratic candidates. Not this year with COVID-19 lock-downs.
Young voters, fatigued from the lock-down lifestyle, do not want to shut down the country. They are increasingly favoring Trump because the President clearly states he will not shut down the country. They largely agree with the strategy to focus resources and efforts on the vulnerable, but permit most citizens to remain free. Pollsters often engage in deeper discussions with certain demographics outside the normal questions. In these discussions, young voters often cite President Trump’s oft repeated phrase: “The cure can’t be worse than the disease.”
Lastly, a general complacency with college-age Democrats has gripped college campuses. As it turns out, many college outreach initiatives have been cancelled. Some of these events include virtual rallies, voting caravans and door-to-door canvassing. From our interview with a few organizers in the upper-Midwest, these cancellations are due to Biden’s ‘huge lead’ and concerns over social distancing. “Why risk it, when the polls say he’s clearly going to win.” The result? College students have not turned out to vote, yet. It’s not clear if they will turn out.
Polls Appear To Be Wrong
Republicans are expected to have a swell of voters cast ballots, as we approach November 3rd, 2020. In Michigan, this effect may be subdued since so many Republicans have voted early. However, the remaining poll of super-voters in Michigan remains split between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans have the clear edge because they are currently up. But the race is far from over.
These early ballot numbers are unexpected because the current aggregate of polls show Biden up 5+ points in Michigan, and the Democrats were supposed to have the clear advantage in early voting. However, almost all polls show a tightening of the race.
However, emerging evidence suggests that Trump supporters do not trust polls, and therefore, do not take their calls — especially when it requires a time commitment of at least twenty minutes.
While it appears that President Trump is on the cusp of victory in Michigan, this can only happen if Republicans continue to show up with the same vigor as they have up until this point. In other words, Trump has a very good chance of winning Michigan–about 80%–if Republicans do not get complacent.