49 million votes cast as 2020 early voting breaks record

With 11 days to go before election day, more ballots have already been cast than during all early voting in 2016, breaking records.

David Rosenberg ,

Joe Biden and Donald Trump
Joe Biden and Donald Trump

With eleven days to go until election day, nearly 50 million ballots have already been cast in this year’s presidential election – setting a new record in early voting.

Some 47 million voters cast their ballots before election day four years ago, breaking previous records both in absolute numbers and in the percentage of voters casting their ballots early, either mail-in ballots, absentee voting, or in-person early voting.

Nearly 67.5 million mail-in ballots have been requested, equivalent to some 49% of the total number of Americans who voted in 2016.

By comparison, four years ago, all forms of early voting combined totaled about 40.8% of the ballots cast.

According to data collected and analyzed by the Democratic firm TargetSmart, the partisan makeup of the early vote still overwhelmingly skews Democratic, though Republicans have made some in roads, particularly in key battleground states.

Nationwide, 47% of ballots cast early were by registered Democrats, compared to 35% by Republicans, and 18% by independents, giving Democrats a 12-point edge in turnout thus far.

That’s down, however, from a 13-point edge earlier this week, when 48% of the ballots had been cast by registered Democrats.

Democrats hope to maintain a large lead in the early vote to overcome a possible ‘red wave’ of Republican votes on election day, with recent polls showing Republicans more than twice as likely to vote in person on election day as Democrats.

In some battleground states, Republicans already have tied or even established a lead over Democrats in terms of turnout. In Ohio, 47% of the ballots cast as of Thursday morning were by registered Republicans, compared to just 40% from Democrats and 13% from independents.

In Michigan, Republicans hold a two-point lead over Democrats in terms of who has cast their ballots, with registered Republicans casting 41% of the votes received thus far, compared to 39% from Democrats. In neighboring Wisconsin, Democrats and Republicans each account for 39% of the votes cast thus far.

Republicans trail heavily in Pennsylvania, however, where 72% of early votes have been cast by Democrats, compared to just 19% by Republicans.